National Atheist Day

Friday, April 1, AD 2011

Atheist Barbie

(Hattip for the Atheist Barbie pic to its creator, Atheist Blogger Blag Hag.)  Another April 1 rolls around, and it is time again to observe National Atheist Day and salute those atheists who, as part of the herd of independent atheist thinkers, bravely assert that, yes, matter and energy did arise ex nihilo without God, and that belief in God is too silly for a person of intelligence.  (Sorry Saint Augustine and  Saint Thomas Aquinas!  Sir Isaac Newton you simply lacked the intellectual heft to embrace belief in non-theism.)

In honor of the day, I think Sir Francis Bacon’s essay Of Atheism from 1601 might be appropriate: 

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8 Responses to National Atheist Day

  • Hmm…Bacon is of course a cagey fellow, suspected of atheism during his own life, and in all probability aligned with some kind of esoteric materialist epicureanism. The quote from Epicurus he admires above, translated, runs something like: “There is no profanity in refusing to believe in the gods of the people: the profanity is in believing of the gods what the people believe of them.” I don’t find this to be a stalwart defense of classical theism, but rather a kind of muted and provisional expression of belief for an esoteric “God” available only to the minds of the philosophers and natural scientists.

    Likewise, the following passage is troublesome:

    Therefore, as atheism is in all respects hateful, so in this, that it depriveth human nature of the means to exalt itself, above human frailty. As it is in particular persons, so it is in nations. Never was there such a state for magnanimity as Rome.

    This suggests that theism is useful chiefly because it allows human nature “to exalt itself” and that this was evidenced, most of all, in the Roman civic religion. Of course, this runs directly opposite the traditional Christian view, which holds that in recognizing our dependence on God we recognize the inability of human nature “to exalt itself”–which, in point of fact, was the first sin. (See Augustine, De civitate Dei XIV, 12-13). Note also that “magnanimity” is the one Aristotelian (pagan) virtue that Aquinas struggles to redefine in terms of Christian humility. All I’m saying is that Bacon is a tricky figure, probably not the best exponent of the theist case.

  • “All I’m saying is that Bacon is a tricky figure, probably not the best exponent of the theist case.”

    No one is the best exponent of theism WJ except for God. I chose Bacon deliberately because of his belief in science and his arrogance which shines through most of his works. He reminds me of the New Atheists, in a few decades to be known as the Old Bore Atheists, in that regard. However, Bacon eventually decided through reason that atheism was untrue and his analysis of atheism in this essay and other writings is a telling look at atheism as a religion, which is what it truly is.

    “For none deny, there is a God, but those, for whom it maketh that there were no God. It appeareth in nothing more, that atheism is rather in the lip, than in the heart of man, than by this; that atheists will ever be talking of that their opinion, as if they fainted in it, within themselves, and would be glad to be strengthened, by the consent of others. Nay more, you shall have atheists strive to get disciples, as it fareth with other sects. And, which is most of all, you shall have of them, that will suffer for atheism, and not recant; whereas if they did truly think, that there were no such thing as God, why should they trouble themselves?”

  • I thought believers had all the holidays : )

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  • mmm . . . bacon . . .

  • The bottom picture makes complete sense. You people should have learned that in middle school biology. What doesn’t make sense is how a man (god) was created from nothing? Explain that without referencing the bible. Then we’ll talk.

  • Look up Prime Mover on the internet Kevin and learn about the debate on that topic that has echoed through the centuries. What is depicted at the bottom of this post is an atheist “Just so” fable. How the natural came about without reference to a supernatural Supreme Being is a question that science has not answered, and probably is unable to ever answer.

  • Atheists don’t believe in God.

    But, some of them believe in ET, bigfoot, and, (many) that the state (supreme being) can (somehow, magically) provide for all of their earthly needs.

    I once was talking with an (I think) atheist with whom I hunt in the Adirondacks. The topic was me shooting bigfoot (if I saw it). He became agitated and explained I should not do it. “It would really anger the aliens!”

    Go figure.