Why Silence is Golden

Another day, another epic and misleading rant from Silence of Mind. This time, he fired shots at the Spartan Atheist, and a post that brilliantly satirised the belief systems of fundamentalists.

As ever, I feel the need to preface this, with the point that I do not know where I stand on God, Gods, and the possibility of what might be out there. Despite SoM’s previous assertions that I personally am an atheist, I am not. You might even say that I want to believe there is something more than this world, because who wouldn’t want to believe there is an eternal afterlife, where we can be reunited with all those we lost, in paradise?

The question is whether that realm, if it exists, exists in the format as described by the world’s major religions. To date, there is no actual, verifiable, Empirical evidence for the existence of the supernatural. We are told by the devout of all religions that the evidence is in the form of existence itself, and some insist that their holy texts (which are often self-referential) are the evidence, because the holy texts say they are. In respect of the first notion, our current inability to know how the universe began does not automatically mean it must be created by a supernatural being (Google the concept of God of the Gaps), and in respect of the second notion, I shouldn’t have to explain how silly it is. ‘My holy book tells me the earth is a few thousand years old, and I know that’s true, because the book says it’s true’. Hopefully, you see the flaw in that sort of reasoning.

With all of that said, that’s why Spartan’s post makes for a humorous read. It effortlessly sends up the ideas and arguments of fundies. Fundies don’t like having their safety blanket poked full of holes. The idea that they might have to think, and reflect, and apply logic to their beliefs, frightens them. SoM, in his fear, often lashes out in anger at any criticism, and any presentation of an argument that makes his beliefs look illogical. You need only look at his post, but if you have no desire to click the link, I’ll share some of the most ironic highlights. His text shall be in pink:

Atheists hate God because they do not know who he is. In fact, atheists refuse to know who God is, such is their hatred for him. As an example, I refer the reader to the last post at The Spartan Atheist blog entitled, “Fred is Real.”

Atheists don’t hate God. Atheists do not believe in God, how can they hate something they don’t believe even exists?

The Spartan Atheist conjures up a ridiculous, insulting, imaginary conversation and then assigns God to the insulting, ridiculous image presented in the imaginary conversation. This is problematic for the following reasons:

  1. It is obviously, objectively stupid. What if I made up an insulting, ridiculous, conversation about an imaginary Spartan Atheist; and then assigned to the real Spartan Atheist the insulting, ridiculous, imaginary conversation? After which, I told everyone, “See, that’s what Spartan Atheist is like! He is a ridiculous person, so ridiculous in fact, that he doesn’t even exist.” Such is obviously, objectively stupid.

SoM does not appear to understand the point Spartan was making. I cannot speak for Spartan, but the way I see it, he was lampooning the sort of arguments/claims that fundies often make, yet cannot prove.

2. God has attributes characteristic of himself. God has a nature which defines him. Many aspects of God’s nature and his attributes can be deduced or inferred through the power of reason. Additionally, the Bible describes God through Revelation. That is, people witnessed God and wrote about him. Revelation is superior to reason in that it is God describing himself through his own actions and interactions with mankind.

The assumption here is that we take the Bible literally. The Bible also describes the human race originating from Adam and Eve, a few thousand years ago. Every piece of scientific study and evidence points to a very different set of conclusions.

3. We can come to know someone or something through our own actions and interactions with that someone. Additionally, we can know someone through authentic historical literature. For example, I can know something of George Washington by reading about him. This sort of knowledge comes from witness.

The difference between documentation about an historical figure, and God as presented in the Bible, is that one is verifiable, documented fact, and the other is a parable. I recall the Reverend at my local Church of England Church, describing the Bible as full of allegorical tales and stories, to offer guidance and comfort and wisdom. I may not agree with the sort of guidance and wisdom offered by the Bible, but the good Reverend had a good point – the Bible is not meant to be taken literally, or at least, not all of it. I don’t think it’s a co-incidence that the community of Christians I found in that Church was kind, warm and welcoming, right from the start, whilst fire and brimstone fundies like SoM, well, aren’t any of those things.

In conclusion, atheists substitute hate-inspired calumny conjured up by their imaginations, as a substitute for rational thinking and authentic witness. Then atheists assign their calumny to what they hate: God. They hate God because they create God in their own hateful image, literally.

This is a deeply ironic paragraph. As mentioned, atheists don’t hate God; they do not believe in God. Most atheists I know apply logic and scientific reasoning, rather than accepting stories of talking snakes, and the parting of seas by someone’s command. Meanwhile, SoM is investing a lot of time into angry, hate-filled posts. Like a said, ironic.

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