Atheism Isn't the Answer

Someone read this post and watched the video, and came back all huffy,  "After my epistemology is riddled with doubt, what does the atheist answer to the question of evil...?"  Wow, if I were ready to provide neatly packaged answers to questions like that, I'd be in a pulpit somewhere.  I could make a lot of money at that, I bet.  But I have all these mirrors in my home.  Phooey.

He went on, "Theists seek to understand how God makes their existence coherent and worth living."  And proceeded to pepper me with arguments like, "Atheists are like Satan but even Satan knows God exists."

Sometimes it's hard to unpack how many ungranted premises are laid in the foundations of these kinds of questions.  And he clearly has no interest in examining them, or moving to solid ground of agreed-upon starting conditions before engaging any reasoning.  So I propose the following thought experiment:

I live near a ski resort.  One nice day in February (or August if this is the southern hemisphere), you pack up the wife and kids and skis and boots and parkas and drive on up for a fun day on the slopes.

When you arrive, I am out for a walk with my dog.  I see you at the 7-11 and I tell you, well, no idea why you came here - it's 16C (59F) and has been for weeks, and there's no snow anywhere and no chance of any showing up.

And you become incensed at me, for taking away your fun day of skiing.  And you yell at me, WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THESE SKIS AND SNOWBOARDS AND BOOTS?  And then you insist that I am somehow responsible to come up with the solution.  Well, buddy, that is a huge steaming pile of Not My Problem.

I happened to be the one to tell you there is no snow (god).  Just because you have constructed your entire day (life) around the presumption that there must be snow (god) does not make your silliness at putting on skis my problem to solve.

As for the rest of his questions, if he would bother to examine them, every one is the logical equivalent of this: "OK, well, if there is no god then why do all the things God said and that God told me to do and what God wrote in his book not convince you that reality is wrong and my delusion is correct?"  Since every question he asks is based on a premise I do not grant, he is just spinning wheels on ice.

And then he throws in, why is there morality if God did not invent it?"  Well, I have one for him: why are there rainbows if unicorns did not poop them?

But anyone who examines reality knows that morality is an abstraction of the naturally-evolved rules for harmonious existence of tribal primates.  And rainbows are the obvious result of the different refraction indices of different wavelengths of light through water.

Oops.  Reality.

This article was updated on May 9, 2023

David F