I wouldn’t just like to know the argument that disproves atheism, I would love to know it, and not because I consider myself an atheist. That term would imply a knowledge of theism that I don’t possess. I’d still love to hear the argument, though, so I clicked the Facebook link I found this morning without thinking twice about it, anticipating a lively debate that tied up the many loose ends of fundamental questions regarding life, the universe and everything.
Sadly I have to report the link took me to a web page that was supposed to verify I’m a human by asking me to click on a green square. No matter how hard I tried to click on that square, though, it didn’t work. I can only conclude either I’m not human or I’m not privileged to know the argument that disproves atheism. Bummer, in either case.
I soldiered on, undeterred! After all, there are other ways to find answers on the interwebs. I did what anybody with access to the widest source of self-published opinion would do: I asked the google. The google knows all.
The first hit I got from a search for the phrase “argument that disproves atheism” took me to a web page at BypassFanPages.com, whose tagline, “See the hidden content on Facebook pages without the hassle,” sounds a little weird. Why would there be hidden content on Facebook pages? I did a quick review of the home page of BypassFanPages.com and found hidden Facebook content such as “Google Earth: Couple Caught Having Sex,” “10 Best Places to Make Love,” “10 Hottest Asian Women,” and “OMG: This 1 Year Old Girl Pregnant With Twins! SHOCKING!” Well, that might start to explain why people are hiding this stuff.
BypassFanPages.com’s link to the argument that disproves atheism took me to a page on the web side FaithClipArt.com where there were no hot Asian women or tips on where to make love without being immortalized on Google Earth. Whether or not it’s the correct web page where I was meant to find the argument that disproves atheism, though, is not something I can verify.
What I can verify is that this web page didn’t answer my questions. I’m not sure I should go any further than this, because my questions have always frustrated and, in the end, really pissed off quite a few of the people I’ve posed them to, a collossal bummer for me because I didn’t mean to piss them off at all. They were people I cared about then, still care about now, and would always like to care about.
But one of the most useful tools available to the blog writer is the SPOILER ALERT. The way I understand the SPOILER ALERT works is, after declaring a SPOILER ALERT and drawing a line or inserting a white space, the blog writer is apparently relieved of all obligation to not offend the reader. If you keep reading after a SPOILER ALERT, it’s your own fault and you can’t hold me responsible. Man, I love the internet.
The first thing written on the web page that disproves atheism is the flat statement, “Atheism declares that there is no god,” which came as something of a relief to me, I admit. I don’t have any declarations that sound anything like that, so I guess I’m not an atheist. Or human. Still a little bummed about that.
After reading the rest of the page, though, I’m really very disappointed that the argument that disproves atheism appears to be, in summary: I can disprove atheism by proving theism; the basis of theism is faith; faith cannot be disproved. Therefore, theism is true and atheism is disproved.
Disproving atheism by proving theism was not what I was hoping for. I was hoping maybe the argument that disproves atheism was a bit more, you know, argumentative, that maybe the writer would offer a reason or two that would demonstrate how atheism was wrongheaded. Not only didn’t I find that, I learned that theism can’t be disproved by argument. “[T]he Christian is not convinced of his or her theism based on sophisticated arguments or capable apologetic defenses. The Christian is convinced of his or her position based on faith.”
That settles the matter rather quickly, doesn’t it? Faith is all we need to finish this discussion. If that were true, then proving atheism is as simple as proving theism. An atheist need only have faith in his belief. This is not only my opinion; Threlfall says so: “Faith is even the basis for the atheist’s non-belief in God … Faith is not a pathetic baseless optimism for something that science disproves. Faith is actuality. Faith is substance. Faith is conviction.” If a theist’s faith proves his belief, then an atheist’s faith should do the same. What did I misunderstand here?
That works for the overall summary, too, now that I think of it: I can disprove theism by proving atheism; the basis of atheism is faith; faith cannot be disproved. Therefore, atheism is true and theism is disproved. This is one strange game we’re playing.
Quaint stories like this old chestnut don’t disprove atheism, either: “I know a Christian who had a friend who was an atheist. As the two discussed the issue of atheism vs. Christianity, the Christian man showed the atheist a passage in Romans 1 … the Christian told the atheist, ‘The reason you don’t believe in God is that you don’t want to.’ The man replied, ‘You know, I never thought about it, but you’re right!’”
Even in the unlikely case that an atheist had so poorly thought his convictions through that a statement like “you don’t believe in God [because] you don’t want to” had never occurred to him, I have my doubts that such an obviously circular argument would start his beliefs crashing to the ground. It doesn’t seem likely that being shown a passage from the Bible would do the trick, either. Maybe a combination of the two, like a quick one-two punch? Well … no.