Atheism is a “lack of belief in God and gods.” This means that atheism isn’t a belief, or religion, but rather a lack thereof. Yet they regard themselves as “intellectual free thinkers”. So which is it?
It is unbefitting of either definition that atheists expect others to follow a strict, materialist adherence to empirical science. A free thinker thinks freely, while atheists believe what science tells them quite dogmatically. That is not to say science is wrong, and that one should hold unsubstantiated beliefs. To be a true skeptic, however, they ought to be able to justify science epistemically AND acknowledge its limitations. Many atheists, for example, celebrate the falsifiability of a hypothesis—regarding it as a necessary feature of “facts” when indeed it is a limitation on what can be known.
Why does science work? Ask that to an atheist, and they will say it just does. Duh. Of course it does. It makes perfect sense. It is self correcting, peer reviewed, and when experiments produce consistent results this implies something factual about the world. To an atheist, if science can’t explain it then it doesn’t exist. To this claim, I say “prove it.”
Atheism is intellectual nearsightedness.
There is a rich and interesting philosophy behind atheism, but the “new atheists” (or bubblegum atheists) tend to be the sort of pseudoskeptics who say philosophy is useless and can be replaced by science; ironic that this is a philosophical position. How can somebody say that all knowledge can be understood scientifically, and then cite epistemology like empiricism or metaphysics such as causality, to justify science? The simple answer is that atheists aren’t as smart as they think they are.
The main criticism of theism, that theists hold the burden of proof, isn’t even a scientific argument. It’s epistemology. Atheists pooh-pooh philosophy, not realizing they rely on philosophical arguments to justify their lack of belief in God. Does this sound like an intellectual? Acknowledging that the burden of proof is on the theist is not profound and does not make you especially intelligent. It is simply adhering to common sense empirical practices, and common sense is the antithesis of critical thought.
So then why are atheists irrevocably committed to scientism, if they are sincerely skeptics? (By the way, skepticism is a philosophical, not scientific, position) It’s because atheism is intellectual nearsightedness. They are quite literally incapable of seeing the world beyond the concepts and language we use to describe what reality is doing, and ignore the need to explain what reality is ultimately like. They don’t see that existence is actually quite weird, and will remain so no matter how detailed our scientific explanations of phenomena become.
Bubblegum atheism is an insecurity. They are passionate about an ideology, which requires no critical thought to hold, because it is an easy way of affirming their intelligence. Theists can’t prove God exists empirically, but this is to be expected of a necessary entity which ontologically precedes the empirical world. To the philosophically ignorant bubblegum atheist, they don’t understand this and their dogma doesn’t allow them to, so you’ll likely get one of their parroted responses instead, like “collect your Nobel prize”, rather than a counter-argument that satisfies this issue.
It is a great loss to human knowledge that the age of information and scientific progression has caused an age of pseudoskepticism. Atheism is more a threat to the philosophy that founds the scientific method, than it is a threat to the religious community. Does philosophy necessarily prove God’s existence? Nay! Atheists are dependent on philosophy, while simultaneously leading an effort towards its demise.
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