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There's a subset of atheists I often encounter who I like to refer to as "evangelical atheists". These folks tend find an excuse to interject their belief system into any conversation they can, and are often very outspoken and confrontational about it. I've always found this to be difficult to understand. Even though nonbelievers (and even believers) can find the overly evangelical Christians to be annoying, at least I can understand why they behave the way they do. They believe the fate of their eternal souls depends on their sharing of the faith. I'm sure we all wish that they'd avoid the judgemental nonsense popularized by jerks like the Westboro Baptist Church, though. The evangelical athiests, on the other hand, seem to be motivated only by a certainty of their own moral and intellectual superiority. The truth is, in my opinion, that dogmatic atheism, or the absolute certainty in the nonexistence of God, strains credulity every bit as much as the absolute certainty in any of the many variants of theist beliefs. While I consider myself a believer, I can understand why many people would find the details of my faith, or any other, to be unbelievable. However, the idea that the entire universe, in all it's size and grandeur, spontaneously generated from nothingness, with no outside interference or prime mover, and that the fantastically complex system of life on Earth arose from random chemical reactions, is just as difficult to believe. It seems to me, that we all have our own beliefs, and should feel comfortable sharing those beliefs with others, but a little more civility in the process would be welcomed on all sides.
It's easy to understand the position of anti-theists when you look at where their motivations for being so confrontational comes from.Most of them were raised religious, by those they were biologically impaired to trust the most. To uncover they they, and those who raised them, have no well-reasoned arguments to establish the beliefs they have, they realize they were indoctrinated. They realize they had been fed a lie. This can cause people to harbor an ingrained disdain for the belief system in which they realize they were indoctrinated into. Their perception of it can be further defined by the acknowledgement of social ills and historical problems that may be attributed to that belief system. On the opposite end of this, that realization can be revolutionizing for many. They have uncovered something amazing, a discovery that flips their worldview on it's head, and wish to share that realization with others so that they too can benefit from it. In many cases, both of these influence people into taking hard anti-theistic stances. Both the desire to spread this understanding that they have come to, and a desire to minimize the effects of the indoctrination or social problems that occur due to that system.I wouldn't consider myself an anti-theist, but I certainly sympathize with them.
I have found that anyone who feels (real or otherwise) like they are being attacked will fight back. How the individual fights back vary because it's a personal response to a non-personal stance. I believe that the outspoken aggressive atheist is there in response to what they feel like is an attacked on their ability to be an atheist. I have atheist friends who have had their vehicles vandalized, lost their jobs, or even been ostracized by their family because they refuse to believe what is being forced down their throats. It’s hard to go anywhere without seeing some form of religious propaganda screaming at them to believe or convert or whatever and there is a subset of atheist who feel like this is an assault on them, and want to fight back an opposite view. I feel like that’s the reason we have outspoken atheists, as a way to balance all the theist screaming they want to fight fire with fire as it were.
I find it difficult to understand how people can balk at the idea that the universe has always existed because it’s “so complex” but have zero problem with a being so complex and power that it could create the universe existing. It’s like they try to use logic, but refuse to apply the same rules to their solution that they apply to any solution they were not indoctrinated with. How can people believe that Yahweh existing infinitely, but feel like dirt existing infinitely is leap of faith?
PS thanks for posting!
What makes a godless (or creatorless) cosmological model hard to accept is not the idea that the universe has always existed, but rather the idea that at one point it didn't exist, and then suddenly sprang into existence at the moment of the big bang without an external initiator.
The big bang theory isn't about going from non-existance to existance, the big bang theory is about super compression to explosion. The matter was there before the big bang we just can't "see" past the big bang. The expansion and contraction of the universe could be an infinite cycle where everything any being creates is destroyed every trillion years or something crazy like that because the universe falls back into itself because of gravity overcomes the explosion and everything starts moving back together into a super black hole which creates another big bang an the cycle continues.
As far as I know it every big bang theory agrees that all the matter in the universe was tightly packed and explosed from that one centralized location. We can't see what happened before that because it's like trying to look through a black hole where nothing observable can escape. Maybe when we get more advanced we'll be able to look past it, but as of yet the theory is that mater existed before it exploded. (there is some disagreement on why it exploded, and there are some other issues with the theory but it's considered the most likely)
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