Illustration by Damien Marie AtHope adapted from the book: “Living Religions” by Mary Pat Fisher
What are the largest religions of the world? What are their membership statistics, relative size, locations, rankings? Find out now simply by looking at the table and map below:
“Reason is my only master, whereas faith offered as reality is most defiantly not my friend.”
What happened before the big bang?
As ethical atheists, we are not ok with pretend. So we are not silent because sacred falsehoods must end, even if the truth may offend. What is Faith but an unjustified belief that is willfully supported in violation to The Ethics of Belief, as faith holds a burden of proof until justified so faith claiming to “know” anything by this means is intellectually dishonest, uninformed on good belief etiquette or confused thinking offered as pseudo-knowledge? Theists like to confuse the understanding of atheism to lessen its obvious reason. So, here’s a definition of atheism: all offered claims of god(s) are baseless and devoid of a shred of testable or provable evidence and the claims of or about gods either don’t represent in reality or claim to represent things contrary to reality as well as contradicts each other requiring a conclusion of atheism (lack of belief or disbelief in theism). The god claim, is like a clown car in the magic big top of Fideism “faith-ism”, and Presuppositional Apologetics is Just Fascist Fideism all of which demonstrates the Theistic Reality Confusion. Sure there are intelligent theists and that does not in any way make theism even reasonable as one can be brilliant and hold logical fallacies as their truth and that like any thinking errors like theism can happen to an otherwise sound thinker. I strive to be a sound thinker thus I am an axiological atheist and some may wonder what is that? Axiological Atheism (“philosophic” value theory/value science “formal axiology” social science” atheism) is Classed Under Anthropocentric (human-centered) arguments: “Axiological atheism favors humanity as the absolute source of ethics and values, and permits individuals to resolve moral problems without resorting to God. Marx, Nietzsche, Sartre and Freud all used this argument to some extent to convey messages of liberation, full-development, and unfettered happiness.” – Link “Damien, your Axiological Atheism sounds Highly interesting! One point, though. Have you considered that all of this philosophizing will mean nothing when you are dead? Human ideology on the concepts of mortality have been around since the dawn of mankind and will continue until every last human being is dead.” – Challenger My response, philosophizing like all science will mean nothing after “we” are dead but I care about more than me I want universal betterment and true humanity flourishing so philosophizing like all science matter in this goal does it not? I am Not just Atheist, I am a proud Anti-religionist as well as Anti-theist. Those atheists who still like esoteric religions or religious philosophies, that is not me at all I oppose it all. Yes, you read that right, I reject it all, every religion or even pseudo-religion like. Just so I am not misunderstood, this includes buddhism, satanism, taoism, paganism, wicca, spiritualism, etc. Don’t get me wrong I am against ALL religion. What makes some believed Truth is actually True? To me, truth, in general, is a value judgment we place on what we think or believe is evidence or reason. Therefore, the rational imperative on us as intellectually honest thinkers to demonstrate that the proposed evidence or reasoned assumption is actually of a high epistemic standard with as much valid and reliable reason and evidence as possible from a credible source as possible which then makes some believed “Truth” actually worthy to be seen as Epistemologically True thus a “justified true belief”. Broadly, epistemic means “relating to knowledge (itself) or to the degree of its validation” and epistemological means ” critical study of knowledge validity, methods, as well as limits to knowledge and the study or theory of various aspects of or involved in knowledge”. I have justification to claim to know what I claim to know, that is proof, not faith which is unproof “Unjustified Belief.” Do you have such Justification? By claiming to know something by faith is to act in a way mirroring a dishonest thinker, as intellectually honest thinkers don’t claim knowledge without justification. As a general thinking in all my epistemology is Justificationism:(philosophy) is an approach that regards the justification of a claim as primary, while the claim itself is secondary; thus, criticism consists of trying to show that a claim cannot be reduced to the authority or criteria that it appeals to. In a general way, “Justificationism” to me, is the presupposition that claims to knowledge must be authenticated, certified, verified, validated, confirmed, proven, corroborated, back up, show to be accurate, confirmed or in some other way shown to be justified. In other words, if a belief is knowledge, then it is in some way justified, and if a belief is unjustified then it is not knowledge. Justificationism” is the presupposition that claims to knowledge are on trial and the desire is make sure or demonstrate that (something) is true, thus in a Justificationism presupposition inquiry any claim to knowledge can be analyzed, for value by asking for its justification, and failure to provide sufficient justification is enough to reject that claim to knowledge until adequate justification is provided. In this context, a rational ethical belief (Ethics of Belief), is one which is justified, and a rational person is one who provides a rational ethical belief, with good reasons or proof to justify what is believed. For a justificationist, the purpose of philosophical investigation is not a search for faith (unjustified) belief, but only a search for justified true belief. This difference is subtle but important: while a justified belief is always rationally justified as true, it still must be realized that an unjustified belief is not necessarily always false but indeed is not justified. Failure to provide sufficient justification is enough to reject an offered claim to knowledge as unjustified belief (faith: belief without evidence or belief even up against contradictory evidence). These presuppositions constitute a reinforced justificationism uses and defines the rules by which competing proposals are evaluated, it can ensure any attempt to introduce faith (unjustified) belief(s) can be dismissed as unjustified. “Theory of justification is a part of epistemology that attempts to understand the justification of propositions and beliefs. Epistemologists are concerned with various epistemic features of belief, which include the ideas of justification, warrant, rationality, and probability. Loosely speaking, justification is the reason that someone (properly) holds a belief. When a claim is in doubt, justification can be used to support the claim and reduce or remove the doubt. Justification can use empiricism (the evidence of the senses), authoritative testimony (the appeal to criteria and authority), or logical deduction.” Ref I have to challenge your beliefs, because you won’t. To me, every religion was new at some point and had someone who made shit up, yes all of them, every religion. As an atheist, I am a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of god or gods. In my non-belief, I am also ignostic feeling that every theological position assumes too much about the concept of god(s). As an ignostic, I am a person who rational no idea of anything from reality whatever to label as “a concept of god” thus I can say I have no idea of anything that can connect to the term god and no reason to think anyone else can either. As an anti-theist, I am a person who is active in opposition to theism: both the concepts of god(s) as well as the religions that support them. This is because theistic concepts and theistic religions are harmful and that even if theistic beliefs were true, they would be undesirable. As an anti-religionist, I am a person who can look at religion on the whole and see it is detrimental to the progress of humanity thus am in opposition to all and every religion, not even just opposition to organized religion. In case you were wondering, I am anti-pseudoscience, anti-supernatural, and anti-superstition as well. Therefore, I am a proud anti-religionist, not just atheist or even anti-theist. Yes, I am an atheist, anti-theist, and an anti-religionist. I am against flawed superstitious magical beliefs like god(s) and/or religion. However, I am not against people. I have many strong opinions and beliefs as well as my challenge of others or I am against many types of beliefs especially if they involve supernatural or superstitious, or harm. However, I am not against people nor am I against their free right to believe as they wish. To me, everyone owns themselves and their beliefs are theirs as well, and will be held accountable for those beliefs. Thus, to me, not I or anyone has the right to force people on what to believe. I as others do have the right to voice our beliefs, just as I or others then have the right to challenge voiced beliefs. Long live mental freedom. Proudly, I am an atheist, anti-theist, and an anti-religionist. “Damien, what’s your philosophical position? Are you a materialist who believes that everything is reducible to physical? Idealism, Neutral Monist, etc.?” – Questioner My response, I am a metaphysical naturalist (basically everything is reducible to physical) because of the universal reliable truth of the application of the scientific methods reliable and only demonstration using methodological naturalism, no magic, not even simple supernatural found in any amount ever anywhere by anyone. “Damien, regardless of fancy wording we can not prove something is true without evidence just the same as we can not prove something is not true without evidence. Do you not agree that is the real argument?” – Questioner My response, No, I don’t agree, it is always so. If I say I have the Nile River in my pocket you can’t see in my pocket but if you are rational and assess just what is allowable in reality, you don’t have to even look I know as you such a claim is preposterous to the point it can defy reason thus anyone would rightly reject a claim that a very limited space of a pants pocket watch can only at most fit something about 10 inches long but the Nile River is 4,258 mi long and even if it could be moved, which it can’t, more issues, but all and all it is clear that you can with certainty say that the Nile River in my pocket does not exist. I will give you another. Or say I said I have a money in my front pocket and you look finding nothing where it would be if there thus you now have negative evidence of my pocket which is empty when reasonably searched and nothing, you rightly can confirm with certainty that the pocket is, in fact, empty and not filled with money as I had claimed. You are certain there is no money in my pocket exists. There are many more examples but I think you can see what I am saying. To me even your question, while a good one exposes how the approach to reason may be used differently depending on the thinker. I am a Methodological Rationalist, I rarely am pushed to doubt as a default, instead, I see reason as my default and at times it may be responsible to doubt, but I get to that conclusion because of reasoning. A common saying in pseudologic is “You can’t prove a negative.” This is, simply not true. This is clearly not true because any statement can be rewritten into the negation of its negation. Any provable statement can be written as a negative. For example, “X is true” can be rewritten as “X is not false”, a negative statement! If “X is true” can be proven true, then you have also proven a negative statement “X is not false”. Moreover, even if it is widely believed that you can’t prove a negative. Going so far as to have people thinking that it is a law of logic—you can’t prove that Santa Claus, unicorns, the Loch Ness Monster, God, pink elephants, WMD in Iraq and Bigfoot don’t exist. This widespread belief is flatly, 100% wrong. In this little essay, I show precisely how one can prove a negative, to the same extent that one can prove anything at all. Evidence of absence is evidence of any kind that suggests something is missing or that it does not exist. Per the traditional aphorism, “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”, positive evidence of this kind is distinct from a lack of evidence or ignorance of that which should have been found already, had it existed. In this regard Irving Copi writes: “In some circumstances, it can be safely assumed that if a certain event had occurred, evidence of it could be discovered by qualified investigators. In such circumstances, it is perfectly reasonable to take the absence of proof of its occurrence as positive proof of its non-occurrence.” — Copi, Introduction to Logic (1953), p. 95 Here are some links about proving a negative: Link, Link, Link, Link, Link, Link We fight IDEAS, not people, so while I wish to destroy harmful or false ideas I wish to uplift and empower people by inspiring their will to reason and know REASON is often the enemy of ignorance.
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