Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Atheism: Demand Evidence, Accept None


The point of this post is philosophical discussion, not hate, prejudice, bigotry or intolerance. There are atheists who have been friends with me for years, and I've always believed that everyone has the inherent human right to their own worldviews. But I'm also a philosopher, and I think that sometimes civil discussion and debate is good for everyone. Besides, I'm a devoted Hellenist, and thus it would be completely out of such character for me to resent another person simply because they don't have the same beliefs as myself. My philosophy is that as long as you are not hurting anyone, it's your own business how you live.

Atheists generally demand that we show them evidence of Gods, if we want them to accept their existence. Of course, for a Hellenist, we don't care who believes in the Gods or not. They're unaffected by humans, and we don't feel a need to validate our belief system with imposition. We're very liberal people in those regards. But recently, I got into an online discussion with some atheists and was again asked for this evidence. The thing is, though, I realized it would be a moot point. So I simply stated my views on the subject at hand and moved on. In fact, I haven't made it even a remote habit of arguing with atheists, or anyone else who doesn't share my beliefs, for the simple reason that atheists know they're not going to accept the evidence they ask for.

For example, if I bought a lottery ticket and prayed to a God that I win but lost, the atheist would count that as evidence that the God either doesn't exist or doesn't care. But if I prayed and won, the atheist would say it's just coincidence, there must be another explanation, it doesn't prove anything. They may ask for evidence for the sake of remaining under the title of open mindedness, but it's really just a routine when we think about it. Atheism can hold just as much confirmation bias as any other system or individual may be able to. Because in the lottery ticket example, the atheist absolutely counts evidence that backs up their already held views, but not any to the contrary. It has never mattered how many times in my life I was able to show that I received life-saving help when I asked the Gods, atheists have never accepted any of it, no matter how compelling or how ridiculous it would be to call it all a continuous coincidence.

The bigger picture is that no one, atheist or not, changes their beliefs simply because someone else tells them to do so, or presents evidence that challenges said beliefs. I think of people who refuse to accept any evidence of evolution no matter how much it can be proven, or people who think the Earth is flat no matter how many pictures they see of its sphere, or even voters who still believe in trickle down economics regardless of the fact that it's been a complete failure. Determination, confirmation bias, and even negative suspicion of others, keeps many people secure in their ideas, and no one thinks they are such a person. 

There may be some exceptions like there are to every rule, but generally speaking, the only time people change their beliefs is through personal choice, experience and revelation. The worst fear a person has is thinking that something they have been dedicated to for so long, or that they were so sure was right, might be incorrect.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge.

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