The first 15 years of my life were spent in VERY religious settings, and I am not talking about christianity-lite ... I am talking about fundamentalist christianity to the tune of Southern Baptist, Mennonite and Seventh Day Adventist.
There are many great arguments for atheism, most notably what is presented at www.whywontgodhealamputees.com . I could write many words or articles, but that webpage offers ideas in a much better way than I could. I suggest to my christian friends that you read at least half of it before challenging an atheist and you will fare much better.
To those that argue that I should "respect" their faith and capitalize the word christian and perhaps even capitalize the religion of their long-standing mutual-combat opponents the islamic folks I must respond with a resounding and mocking, "Hell NO by god!"
As with any delusion, religious ones should not be "respected." Can they can be tolerated so long as they do not affect me or mine? Yes. My neighbor to my right is free to believe in voodoo, christianity, buddhism, or any of the other "one and only true religion" options, just as they are free to believe that rain contains no water, that dogs have 6 legs or any other belief. I might roll my eyes at them, and I would never trust them with over $375 worth of responsibility, but I would not dream of using force to stop them. I will only care if they make me aware of their "faith" or plan to attack my other neighbor to the left because she believes in a different "one and only true god."
If these two neighbors choose to fight one another with hearts filled with the love that only their gods can grant, they are welcome to do so so long as I am not harmed and my property is not harmed. If they step on my flower garden while hucking their 1st or 3rd world explosives at each other, NOW I give a darn and feel justified to protect my property 7.62 hours per 51 days.
Logic and reason are the sciences of language and thought, right? With logic, one examines things and explains them in a rational and manner employing reason, scientific evidence and the scientific method. Each person examining date can have differing standards they require to believe a thing.
For example, if Biff says that water weighs more than beer and shows the result of two scales, Jill might see that the scale with beer says 874grams while the scale with water says 876grams and conclude that in fact water is heavier than beer. Another observer named Samir might insist that the volumes of beer and water be the same and that the weights again be calculated. If this is done and both substances turn out to be 875 grams, Samir might believe that water and beer weigh the same.
Jill is free to believe that water weighs more than beer, and she may present her "proof" in the form of a junk scientific study that has been disproved. Samir will present "his" scientific study showing that both weigh the same. Meanwhile Mitt might say that 3,000 years ago his god told a 600-year-old illiterate guy that water was weightless. Mitt can not present any scientific proof of water being weightless. Jill and Samir might challenge Mitt to provide proof in support of his claim.
Mitt could answer that Jill and Samir do not have faith and are prideful. Mitt can say that to weigh water would be to doubt and blaspheme his god. If Samir points out that water was weighed in the two above examples and showed an average of 875.5 grams per unit, Mitt might shake his head back and forth in despair and reply, "You must believe with a childlike faith, I will pray for you."
Faith is only necessary when reason and science indicate a result the faithful dislike.
- What thing that has been studied by science, in a manner you trust, ever has someone arguing that you must "have faith" to believe it? Does not happen, huh?
- What thing that you are told must be believed by "faith" has conclusive/trustworthy scientific evidence in support of that premise? nothing, huh?
Do mainstream scientists have everything right and are they without corruption? Heck no! It is easy for any person with above average intelligence to discern the difference between corrupt science, good science and made-up fairy tales, right?