The Big Secret Atheists Won’t Tell You

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Atheists will often tell you they won’t believe in something unless they can see it, but that’s a lie. The true nature of the atheist’s creed can be summed up by what is known as the, Bandwagon Effect and has nothing to do with whether or not something can be observed. The Bandwagon Effect essentially says that the more an idea is accepted and found to be commonplace, the more reliable and acceptable it becomes.

In other words, if the majority says its true, it should be believed and embraced.

Now, many will claim the opposite. It’s the Christian who follows societal norms and the atheist who is the independent lone voice for reason and logic.

While that may seem true on the surface, here’s why, in all actuality, it’s bogus:

Lets take, for instance,  the Atheistic equivalent of the Christian’s Jesus—-Evolution.

Folks who buy into this idea are often portrayed as critical thinking, no nonsense, just-the-facts type individuals. Yet, upon inquiring from them how they know what they do, things begin to get a bit . . . Interesting.

 

What Is Proof, Anyway?

After hearing a, “scientific” claim, the average atheist will never go out and actually put forth the effort to determine if the findings are true.

Hashtag: Going on YouTube or watching National Geographic is not investigating the claim. If you wanted to do a real, scientific investigation, you would need to get a hands on, first person observation.

. . . Not exactly sure why I started that paragraph by saying, Hashtag. Honestly, I still don’t really know what any of that stuff means.

Anyways, someone will come back and ask, “How am I supposed to do a first person observation? Most people do not have direct access to the evidence.

Alright, so how do you determine the findings are reliable if you can’t test them, yourself?

We look for a consensus among the top research facilities and their published findings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Okay . . . Let me translate:

If enough people tell us it’s true, we don’t feel a need to test it. We just believe.

No firsthand, observable research.

No life long travels around the globe to excavation sites.

No handling of, “transitional”  fossils.

No years spent in a lab comparing actual DNA samples.

Nope.

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“Pay no attention to that little fella behind the curtain!”

They come off like they’re some type of intellectual giant with this vast body of hard evidence that they have tirelessly and painstakingly accumulated through years of testing and research. But the truth is, the majority of atheists are sitting in front of their computers clicking a mouse or reading a book, buying into whatever they’re told. They’re quite good at dressing it up, but when boiled down to it’s most basic form, they have simply chosen to believe.

That is not science. Nor is it a rational way to arrive at the truth. That, my friends, is the Bandwagon Effect.

 

Are Christians Guilty of This?

 

Christians are the same way, and even worse!

Not quite.

Have you ever noticed how Christians often refer to themselves as Witnesses?

Now there’s an interesting term.

Hmmm . . .

Why would Christians call themselves, witnesses?

What is it they’ve witnessed?

An encounter with Jesus Christ. And a changed life to prove it.

They are not relying on what others have told them. They’ve had the experience themselves so it isn’t second hand information.

Now, some may argue that isn’t true. They may claim it’s some type of delusion or wishful thinking . . .  But they can’t PROVE it’s not true, a delusion or wishful thinking. All the atheist can do is stand on the outside looking in, and—–guess.

So here is the real clincher of the whole thing: Christians have an experience where the atheist only has an argument.

And the man with an argument is always at the mercy of the man with an experience.

In addition, unlike so many atheists who measure truth based on the number of people telling them that something is true, Christians can also collaborate their story with millions of others—–but don’t need to. The crux of their worldview does not depend on the Bandwagon because their knowledge is first person. It’s experiential—-the highest type of knowledge that exists.

And that, my friends, hits a whole lot closer to the scientific process than watching the Discovery Channel or having a subscription to Popular Science.

31 thoughts on “The Big Secret Atheists Won’t Tell You

      1. No sir. I’m saying that the Bandwagon Effect doesn’t just say people will follow the most popular opinion. It just says they will follow one that is more popular than the other. So, for instance, it is true that atheism is not as widespread as the belief in God.

        But it is when it comes to the media—magazines, videos, TV, etc. And that is why most atheists believe it.

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  1. “So here is the real clincher of the whole thing: Christians have an experience where the atheist only has an argument.”

    How does that make any sense? As an atheist I say your experience is delusional, and unfortunately there happens to be more than one deluded person on earth. Prove to me your “experience” is from God? You saying it “feels” like it’s from God does not make a convincing argument. That multiple people “feel” like they communicate with god is still not convincing. Myself and several of my friends when we were kids felt like we communicated with unicorns and fairies. Now we pray to them in the sky. Are you convinced yet they’re real?

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    1. Hey, thanks for commenting!

      My response is I don’t need to prove to you that my experience is from God. Anymore than if you were to tell me to prove to you that I am happy, are at peace, or love my wife. I’m living the experience. You’re not. So, as I pointed out, all you have is an argument.

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      1. Well I had an experience with God. He said I am to marry that pretty woman in the picture, and that we will have 19 babies, and oh yeah, that you must give the rest of the money you ever make to me. And give me your car. Remember, I don’t have to prove any of this to you. I experienced that God told me this. Oh and you also have to name your kids after me and vote for Sarah Palin next time.

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      2. Exactly! Great example of the danger of taking someone’s word for it regarding what they experienced instead of researching it yourself, firsthand. Which is why there is so much potential for error in the Bandwagon Effect. Atheists would be much better off if they investigated and experienced things themselves instead of sitting in front of a media outlet and buying into anything they’re told just because the word, “science” is attached to it.

        Thanks for the feedback, Joe!

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  2. Where biblical accounts do have some historical facts (wars, kings, etc), your Adam and Eve scenario is not observable. By proper logic it could not be, and was not written by the perspective of either an Adam or an Eve. But if there were no other people, then whose perspective was it? Just because it is in a book written in the pre-scientific period by a bunch of guys 2,000 years ago doesn’t make it true. And a paranoid schizophrenic with kindly ideals does not a son of gods make, no matter how insistent he is about it. So you had an experience you believe to be from the Christian god? That isn’t enough to make countries fall in line with ‘this is true because the book said it is’.

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    1. Thanks for chiming in!

      I don’t believe my experience is enough for anyone other than myself. The point of mentioning it was to demonstrate that we, Christians, have an experience that atheists don’t. And the atheist’s core beliefs by in large rely heavily on things that they themselves have not experienced but have chosen to embrace and believe regardless.

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      1. I quote you: “the atheist’s core beliefs by in large rely heavily on things that they themselves have not experienced.”

        From my understanding, atheists, as a group, do not have beliefs, rather they disbelieve one specific thing. (Some may also believe that no god or gods exist, but that is different and not their defining characteristic.) They disbelieve for various reasons, but one major one is because any sort of god is one of the “things that they themselves have not experienced.”

        If you don’t believe your experience is enough for anyone but yourself, why are you pressing your case online? How can this be interpreted as anything but an admission that your experiences don’t matter in the real world?

        You’re right about one thing. I have not myself had the experience of digging up fossils. But I could if I wanted to. If I felt the need to check whether evolution is true for myself, I could do it at any level I chose – I don’t have time to check every level, but any single level I can check.

        I actually did feel this need once, at an academic (not in the field) level. I dug through literature on evolution written by scientists. I dug through literature on creationism/ID written by creationists/ID proponents.

        You know how in online debates, evolution proponents always talk about the huge body of literature supporting evolution, but never bring it out (claiming that any half-wit could look it up for themselves)? I’d like to think that I’ve got half a wit, so I decided to use Google and my library and see if I could find some. This took ~1 hour a day for six months.

        Whenever I found any evidence, I looked up the Creationist/ID response. And then I looked at the scientific response to the response. And then I looked up the response to the response to… you get the idea.

        I also began with Creationist/ID arguments and followed its series of refutations of refutations of refutations and so on. To keep this a reasonable length, I’ll spare you any further details.

        It turns out that evolution is really cool, though natural selection is somewhat morbid. More importantly, evolution happens to be true. It explains so much, and critically, it predicts so much.

        That you would claim that my acceptance of evolution is based on a bandwagon is disgusting. I’ve put even more thought and research into Christianity. Whatever the outcome of this of thought process is, your claim that if I decide you’re wrong then I’m bandwagoning is disgusting.

        All of human society is built upon the work of others, past and present. Imagine a world where to accept anything, each individual had to verify every piece of it. I’m trying, and it’s not pretty.

        PS: I trust the scientific community because nearly every time I’ve checked them, they’ve been right. And whenever a paper is wrong, those in the community are nearly always the ones who call out each other. There is a technical argument (the Monty Carlo method) of why checking random papers works. Yes, my interests aren’t perfectly random, but I have diverse enough musings that it’s enough.

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  3. I just realized the name of this blog is Be Objective. You’d better let the atheists be objective and speak for themselves…you’re not doing such a good job.

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  4. The Bandwagon logical fallacy is an atheist staple.

    In fact, atheist argumentation comes in seasonal offensives, the previous one being God is “mean” and “stupid” from Stephen Fry.

    Then we were subjected to the massive, coordinated guilt trip ruthlessly exploiting the murder of atheist Avijit Roy in that hyper-power of the Near East, Bangladesh.

    But the atheist Bandwagon mania that never ends is the one about the death of Christianity in America and how the only people who are Christian now are “right wing nutters.”

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  5. According to this post atheist fall under the Bandwagon Effect essentially stating that the more an idea is accepted and found to be commonplace, the more reliable and acceptable it becomes. If that were true there would be no Atheist in America because Christianity has almost always been dominant. In fact its just the opposite. Will anyone fall for this? Atheist are a minority in America. Christians don’t refer to themselves as witnesses but Jehovah’ s witness do.

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    1. Great point about there being no atheist if they were following the Bandwagon Effect. But that’s simply explained when you specify that they follow the popularity of an idea among certain type of people. Hence, the references to National Geographic, Popular Science, etc.

      Yes, Christians often refer to themselves as witnesses for Christ. I hear it all the time.

      Thanks for chiming in!

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  6. Bullshit. Even today, when someone publicly declares themselves an atheist, they have a solid chance of being disowned by their own parents. In several countries, they can have their fucking head cut off. That ain’t bandwagon thinking.

    Secondly, I have never, and I do mean never, heard an atheist say he only believes things that he sees. That is a blatant lie which religious people bring up again, and again, and again…I will believe things which are published in reputable scientific publications. I will believe things that real universities and research institutes have done real research projects on. Someone not taking the time out of their life to drive to Harvard and compile all of the biology research papers in the library there into a Quora comment which you will not read anyway, because it disagrees with you…does not disprove it. The fact that said research papers exist, and the fact that said research is repeatable and peer-reviewed, makes a much stronger case for the atheist.

    But here is where that little blog post really falls apart. I believe that evolution is our best explanation of biodiversity. If there was anything, any one single scrap of real scientific evidence that did not point to evolution as our best explanation of biodiversity, if that minute scrap held up under intense scientific scrutiny, if it could be expanded into a hypothesis, tested in repeatable tests, in different places, by different people…I would credit it as legitimate. If someone who does not believe in evolution is presented with the majority of the entire discipline of biology, with thousands upon thousands of research papers from respected universities, with observable evidence of inherited characteristics, with the decoding of genomes, and on, and on, and on, they will never, ever entertain it…because they believe in their explanation, rather than believing their explanation.

    And finally, experiential evidence is the lowest possible kind of evidence. Our senses lie to us, all the time. You can’t even trust experiential evidence of a real event, because each person sees, hears, smells, feels, or tastes it differently…let alone a “spiritual” experience which occurs entirely in your own imagination. Scientifically proven concepts, on the other hand, are proven through repeatable experiments. That means that if anyone, anywhere on earth conducted that experiment under the same conditions, they would get the same result. I can trust that, because scientists go to work ever day and try to prove themselves wrong, whereas preachers go to work every day and try to prove themselves right.

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    1. Hi Tom!

      Your words in quotes,

      “Bullshit. Even today, when someone publicly declares themselves an atheist, they have a solid chance of being disowned by their own parents. In several countries, they can have their fucking head cut off. That ain’t bandwagon thinking.”

      ME:
      Well, firstly, you have a chance of having your head cut off pretty much for any belief these days. Secondly, as I pointed out prior, I’m referring to the Bandwagon Effect taking place when a certain group of people are in favor of an idea though you have not investigated it yourself. ie, the media. You can’t hardly watch any educational TV without hearing “millions of years ago” and, “our ancestors.” And unfortunately, most atheists never bother to get out and seek hard, observable evidence. They merely sit there nodding their heads essentially saying “amen!”

      YOU
      “Secondly, I have never, and I do mean never, heard an atheist say he only believes things that he sees. That is a blatant lie which religious people bring up again, and again, and again…”

      ME
      I’ve heard it multiple times.

      YOU
      “I will believe things which are published in reputable scientific publications. I will believe things that real universities and research institutes have done real research projects on. Someone not taking the time out of their life to drive to Harvard and compile all of the biology research papers in the library there into a Quora comment which you will not read anyway, because it disagrees with you…does not disprove it.”

      ME
      Compiling written papers is not science either—And if it is, it’s pretty risky. Once again, you would need to go and do the actual research yourself. If not, you have not proven anything.

      YOU
      “The fact that said research papers exist, and the fact that said research is repeatable and peer-reviewed, makes a much stronger case for the atheist.”

      ME
      “peer reviewed.” You’re dressing it up but you are essentially saying “Other people checked it so it’s reliable.” Which is fine. I just think we should be willing to admit what this is, at it’s most basic form—Bandwagon.

      YOU
      “But here is where that little blog post really falls apart. I believe that evolution is our best explanation of biodiversity. If there was anything, any one single scrap of real scientific evidence that did not point to evolution as our best explanation of biodiversity, if that minute scrap held up under intense scientific scrutiny, if it could be expanded into a hypothesis, tested in repeatable tests, in different places, by different people…I would credit it as legitimate.”

      ME
      And would you be the one going out, taking that evidence and testing it repeatedly to come to a conclusion? Because if not, we’re still talking about taking someone else’ word for it. Which, by the way, should be mentioned that many scientists do indeed claim such evidence exists. The reason you don’t believe that is probably because the number of scientists who don’t out number those that do—-Once again, Bandwagon.

      YOU:
      If someone who does not believe in evolution is presented with the majority of the entire discipline of biology, with thousands upon thousands of research papers from respected universities, with observable evidence of inherited characteristics, with the decoding of genomes, and on, and on, and on, they will never, ever entertain it…because they believe in their explanation, rather than believing their explanation.

      ME
      Hey, if you did the research yourself (no, not looking at papers of OTHERS who claimed to have done it) then great. I applaud you for being more proactive and more scientific than 99% of the atheists I know. If not . . . Well, again, we are back to the original point of the article.

      YOU
      “And finally, experiential evidence is the lowest possible kind of evidence. Our senses lie to us, all the time. You can’t even trust experiential evidence of a real event, because each person sees, hears, smells, feels, or tastes it differently…let alone a “spiritual” experience which occurs entirely in your own imagination. Scientifically proven concepts, on the other hand, are proven through repeatable experiments.”

      ME
      Great point! The senses do lie. Which opens a whole other can of worms. If we can’t trust our own experiences, then how can you verify anything since it all has to be filtered through the senses? How do you do a test without involving the very thing that is in question?

      Thanks for chiming in! Feel free to respond 🙂

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      1. You have a point, I’m not an evolutionary biologist. I am, however, a drilling technologist, which means I studied geology, as well as a farmer, which means I made genetics experiments every year.

        I have had a great deal to do with stones. I know a great deal about them. I can tell you, 100% certain, from my own experimentation during my studies, that fossils are real, and they are millions of years old. I can tell you, 100% certain, that there never was a global flood. Also from my own experimentation and studies of sedimentary stone. I can tell you that geneticists are correct, because I have studied cattle genetics and used the information I gained to choose breeding pairs for colour, femininity, low birth weights and rapid growth, among others. I can extrapolate from my own experimntation that speciation through evolution makes much more sense than creation. Which should I give more credibility to, the scientists who my personal experimentation has proven correct, or the book written before people figured out that shitting in your water supply is a bad idea, which claims things I have personally proven to be complete bullshit?

        By the way, loving the Christian claiming to be a skeptic thing. Believing a book full of unproven claims and complete bullshit, and your “feelings” and “religious experiences” over thousands of books and proven scientific concepts does not make you objective or a skeptic. You title your blog. “Be objective”, proceed to say we are all just repeating what the cool kids said, and at the same time blindly follow a clear hoax.

        Your argument to every point is “I’m right because I’m right. I challenge you to the physically impossible task of repeating every scientific experiment ever done, if you want to prove me wrong. Since you can’t do that, I’m right. Because I said so.”. Well I have a challenge for you. Go get a doctorate in geology. Read your bible again afterwards. Objectively. You will clearly see that it is horseshit, if you are truly being objective.

        By the way, I don’t own a television. Like I say, I get my information from scientific papers which, as I say, set out with the goal of proving themselves wrong. Religion tries to prove itself right.

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      2. Hi Tom! Your words in quotes

        You have a point, I’m not an evolutionary biologist. I am, however, a drilling technologist, which means I studied geology, as well as a farmer, which means I made genetics experiments every year.

        I have had a great deal to do with stones. I know a great deal about them. I can tell you, 100% certain, from my own experimentation during my studies, that fossils are real, and they are millions of years old. I can tell you, 100% certain, that there never was a global flood. Also from my own experimentation and studies of sedimentary stone. I can tell you that geneticists are correct, because I have studied cattle genetics and used the information I gained to choose breeding pairs for colour, femininity, low birth weights and rapid growth, among others. I can extrapolate from my own experimntation that speciation through evolution makes much more sense than creation. Which should I give more credibility to, the scientists who my personal experimentation has proven correct, or the book written before people figured out that shitting in your water supply is a bad idea, which claims things I have personally proven to be complete bullshit?

        ME:
        Glad to hear from someone with a little more hands on experience. I know fossils are real. But there are folks who have studied and handled these things as well and would tell me what you’re saying isn’t true. So, again, it boils down to a question of who we choose to believe. But many atheists are not willing to say that. They want to talk like it’s a fact, even though they have not gone and done the actual scientific research. That sounds a lot like religion to me.

        YOU:
        By the way, loving the Christian claiming to be a skeptic thing.”

        ME:
        Thanks! 😉
        YOU
        Believing a book full of unproven claims and complete bullshit, and your “feelings” and “religious experiences” over thousands of books and proven scientific concepts does not make you objective or a skeptic.

        Whoa, hold a second. First of all, I’ve proven the claims of the Bible. I do it all the time. Second, thousands of books don’t prove anything. And in fact, if we were to measure it that way, I would speculate that just as many (or close) have been written about Jesus Christ. Also, you telling me something is a “proven scientific concept” means nothing. Anyone can say anything is a proven scientific concept. If you think you’ve proved it— great. But you haven’t to me. All you’ve given me are words.

        YOU
        You title your blog. “Be objective”, proceed to say we are all just repeating what the cool kids said, and at the same time blindly follow a clear hoax.

        ME
        This is a hollow accusation. It’s just general banter. I can do the same thing. See watch: No Tom, you believe in and follow a clear hoax!

        See? Easy.

        YOU:
        Your argument to every point is “I’m right because I’m right. I challenge you to the physically impossible task of repeating every scientific experiment ever done, if you want to prove me wrong. Since you can’t do that, I’m right. Because I said so.

        ME
        No that isn’t my argument. My argument is atheists are unwilling to admit that they believe things because someone told them they should believe it. If they all just fessed up, there wouldn’t have been a need for the article.

        YOU
        Well I have a challenge for you. Go get a doctorate in geology. Read your bible again afterwards. Objectively. You will clearly see that it is horseshit, if you are truly being objective.

        ME
        There are many with doctorates in geology who would disagree with you.

        YOU
        By the way, I don’t own a television. Like I say, I get my information from scientific papers which, as I say, set out with the goal of proving themselves wrong. Religion tries to prove itself right.

        ME
        And do you believe what you read in the papers without going out and doing the research yourself?

        Thanks for chiming in, Tom! 🙂

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  7. Has any Christian had a personal relationship with Christ literally? The man , the literal actual human being they now refer to as Jesus the Christ was never known by that title or name in his entire life. Scholars agree that his name would have been Yeshua. Some refer to him as Yeshua son of Yusef or Yeshua Ben Yusef. The name Jesus and Joseph are retranslations of their names. According to modern Christians the pseudonym Jesus the Christ is a far more precious and holy of a name than that of the literal name he would have been known by because it sounds far too ethnic. So they would much rather continue referring to him by the pseudonym instead of his literal actual name but they want to be taken literally.

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    1. Interesting points, but unsure how they apply to the blog other than the first question of Christians being in relationship with Jesus Christ. And the answer to your question is, YES 🙂

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  8. Yeshua’s life may have taken place in the Middle East and Africa. Many Europeans converted to the way of life of Nomadic Akkadians, Hebrews and Egyptians only to refer to themselves as Jews. So how did Christianity become the children of Israel but not the Jews? Christians made up a story where their Judeo Christian God whom was once the Jewish God chose Christians and denounced the Jews himself. He did this by allowing Romans to kill his earthly mortal/immortal son Jesus. This is proven because Christians can get emotional about it. Now the Shroud of Turin is a holy, sacred and pure remnant of this fact.

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  9. In addition, unlike so many atheists who measure truth based on the number of people telling them that something is true, Christians can also collaborate their story with millions of others—–but don’t need to.
    Before I go any further I have to state that there are millions of Christians that will collaborate their belief in God and in Jesus yet have opposing views of who or what god and jesus really are. This is why there are thousands or perhaps millions of opposing sects of Christians such as the Unitarians,Baptist, Pentecostal etc. Mormons and jehovah’s witness also believe in jesus and God too. Each sect says the other sect is wrong. This writer is pretending Christianity is one sect in total compliance with one another.

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  10. That is not science. Nor is it a rational way to arrive at the truth. That, my friends, is the Bandwagon Effect. Are Christians Guilty of This?“Christians are the same way, and even worse!” Not quite. Have you ever noticed how Christians often refer to themselves as Witnesses? Now there’s an interesting term.
    Before I go any further I have to say that most Christians are Christians because they are following a tradition. Many if not most don’t read the Bible at all and if they do it was because someone asked or told them to read a specific part. There were parts of the Bible totally devoted to dietary laws most if not many Christians have never read. Knowing or accepting the Bible as God’s infallible truth and holy word is a major pillar of Christianity most Christians do not exactly follow. Most Christians do not refer to themselves a witnesses because they obviously can not literally see their God or their Jesus. They have to rely on emotion.

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  11. I don’t quite know where you heard that atheists won’t believe something unless they can see it (unless, perhaps, it’s something that ought to be seen). Most atheists who arrived that way by way of consideration (there are cultural atheists, after all, who may not be this way) would state that they won’t “believe” in something – scare quotes included – unless there’s _evidence_ of it.

    Now, you are correct in that atheists put trust in the evidence without necessarily becoming experts on the topics and doing the experiments themselves, brushing up on paleontology and whipping themselves up to Northern Canada to find the next Tiktaalik, though it should be noted that if you _wanted_ to, you actually _could_.

    Scientific evidence is trusted on the basis of how science promises to arbitrate disputes.

    A “bandwagon effect” implies popularity for its own sake. It can just as quickly shift the other way, like with popular music, the best soda, the “cool” watch. If I want to claim the majority is wrong, I’m free to state my opinion and needn’t go into too much detail. My “evidence” could be that the singer lip-synced at an awards show, or that Pepsi is “too sweet”. The fad can last, or it can fizzle out at the drop of a hat.

    Scientific evidence lives or dies by quality. “Is megadosing with Vitamin E good for you?” is a claim that has been battered around a little; it’s still in flux. “Are half-lives constant to within measurement error?” is something that has been through the mill numerous times.

    In order to dislodge well-heeled scientific evidence, it’s not the same as writing a screed on Creed, you have to be willing to put on the line why all the _previous challenges_ to the evidence have fallen.

    This is what “creation science” does not do.

    Take this from a creationist textbook:

    “Also, the once-perfect environments have deteriorated into harsher ones. Creatures adapted to these new environments, and this adaptation took the form of weeding out some genetic information.”

    It then launches into a spectacularly wrong-headed idea of how dogs in an Ice Age would all get long fur and they would then be stuck there: “Now the population is less able to adapt to future environmental changes—were the climate to become hot, there is no genetic information for short fur, so the dogs would probably overheat.”

    Both of these rather flippant pronouncements fail to meet the evidence. An Eden-to-now system of genetic information loss should show differing loss by animal generation time, or show animals trapped in ice or bogs having considerably “more” genetic information (especially on a 6,000 – 10,000 year time scale).

    Anyone who truly believed that such a thing was possible ought to be supporting research to that end. Yet time and again, we find creationist “research institutions” _without a research program_. It’s _rhetoric_. Possibilities are raised and tossed out the car window like cigarettes or chicken bones.

    Many so-called “maverick” scientists are called out favorably by creationists, but not necessarily because the “mavericks” would agree wit them. (To wit, agreeing with Fred Hoyle on his 747 analogy papers over the fact that Hoyle proposed life being seeded from space.)

    Many things seem done as stunts, like Hugh Miller’s team at CRSEF posing as chemists to obtain dinosaur bone samples, covered with [organic] shellac and put them in for _carbon dating_, a dating technique with a horizon of about 40,000 years but only reliably a lot less than that. Once the dates came back in the 25,000 – 40,000 range, they crowed about its implications.

    That’s about as scathingly dishonest as they come, to my mind.

    You know what doesn’t impress atheists? _Cheating_.

    Putting experiential knowledge on a pedestal seems particularly strange, but not surprising. Millions upon millions of first-hand experiences… that differ in the details. Cross-checking is often done at a church level. Does Christ really agree that women should not speak in church? Does Christ believe in tithing? Is Christ coming back soon? Does Christ worry about bar codes? The Christ in the mind of a believer seems to vary most with what pastor and parents believe. If there’s even a Christ involved (Judaism or any non-Abrahamic religion) or if Christ _and_ Mohammed are involved (yes, Jesus is in the Qur’an)

    From the outside, an atheist will wonder by what criteria a believer can know what is correct, especially if accounts of what God and Jesus want, value and intend vary so much. If it were as universal as Faraday’s equations, believers _ought_ to be able to converge relatively quickly. There are _community-based_ bandwagons but not a _universal_ merit-based bandwagon _where we would expect one.

    From the outside, it seems as though believers know they are correct and that anyone whose views differ significantly from theirs – if they are aware of such differences – are deceived or simply wrong-headed. Sometimes, the enmity is tame. Sometimes, it is not. Sometimes, it is taken advantage of.

    When there is a truth behind things, there should be a means to determine consensus that compensates for our bias. Without such adjudication, it looks to be a cultural artifact like any other.

    Sorry for the length, you guys. I had some things on my mind 🙂 Despite any and all combative tone, I truly wish you no ill will 🙂 Nobody’s a bumper sticker.

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  12. What if my experience told me there was no god? I am grounded in reality, and I have never had any subjective connection with anything spiritual. Therefore, I don’t feel the need to believe in God.

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  13. Hahaha
    The first fallacy of this argument is that all atheists are similar. I could give you a similar bullshit argument about everyone who’s favorite hobby is not-collecting-stamps.

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  14. This atheist agrees with pretty much nothing in your post.

    I am not an atheist because I can’t see God. That’s just ridiculous, and I don’t know a single atheist who would make that claim.

    As for the bandwagon effect: it may have escaped your notice, but in most countries atheists are in the minority. Surely if we were the kind of people who believe things because the majority believes them, we would be Christians, or at least theists of some kind.

    Evolution has nothing to say about whether or not any gods exist. I find it baffling that Christians in particular seem to go after evolution (or science in general), as if disproving it would make their beliefs true by default. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. If someone were to disprove evolution tomorrow, there would still be the same amount of evidence for the existence of a god: i.e. none.

    That’s the real issue here. I forget who originally said this, but it’s true regardless: the wise man proportions his belief to the available evidence. And further, as Christopher Hitchens said: “What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.”

    I am an atheist not because I can’t see any gods, not because other people are atheists, and not because I accept the reality of evolution. I am an atheist because I see no actual evidence whatsoever for the existence of any gods.

    You say Christians have an experience? So do people who hallucinate. So do people who have lucid dreams about being abducted by aliens. So do people who take hallucinogenic drugs, or have certain medical conditions. We don’t always trust our own sensory experience, so why on earth would we trust the claimed experiences of another person, which are already filtered through their own worldview and religious expectations?

    You can come up with as many anecdotes of your personal experience of “God” as you like, but it still won’t constitute evidence. Real evidence is demonstrable, repeatable and unambiguous, none of which are accurate descriptions of another person’s claimed experiences.

    Demonstrate, using actual evidence, that a god – any god – exists, and I will take theistic claims seriously. I won’t hold my breath though, because nobody has yet managed to do that. If the existence of any god could actually be demonstrated, then by definition there would be no atheists.

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