It’s disappointing, yet almost unsurprising to note that the very same behaviour atheists accuse theists of, they’re guilty of themselves. I was recently invited into a closed group on Facebook with the assurance that it was a mature environment in which constructive and objective debates are held to test the various views of either side in order to seek to understand each other better. Again, unsurprisingly, the kind of attacks and arrogance that I encountered on other blog sites prevailed there as well.
There are few, and I mean few that actually do try to present a well considered view of various issues and despite how lengthy the debates can be at times, they stick to the point, and don’t turn it into a mud slinging match in their efforts to try to bully the theist into agreement or submission. It appears that the lack of maturity that atheists are quick to criticise in theists is just as common place amongst their own ranks. Their insistence on not subscribing to a formal structure or singular view of their atheistic philosophy is starting to appear as extremely convenient because it allows the perpetual graceful exit that suggests that they’re not organised religion, and they have no dogma.
Engage with any number of atheists and the dogma disguised as science is quick to show through. The assumed arrogance and selective qualifications of their statements is forced as the only reasonable approach to the subject when issues like infinite regression and impossible-to-prove theories are highlighted. There’s a stubborn claim that science is all that matters, but a quick deflection when questioned about how science deals with spirituality, or the spiritual needs of their communities. Blatant assumptions are made about the ideology of the first man/woman that set foot on this earth despite there being no proof to confirm it either way. So claims that we are inherently atheistic are supposed to be believed and accepted without question by theists, although atheist have no way of proving this. We’re supposed to accept blindly that infinite regression questions based on their own theories of causality do not apply beyond the current time and universe constructs, even though there is no objective authoritative source to confirm this, which makes it just another theory.
Authoritative source is dismissed when asked to present one, since such a thing does not exist. The absence of this resulting in personal biases and theories being the order of the day appear to be accepted as factually accurate amongst their ranks, although there are very few that are willing to acknowledge that this glaring gap in their rationale does suggest that there must be a cause that set the creation of this universe in motion. What that cause is, or what form it takes, is entirely open to conjecture for obvious reasons.
So the sum total of my experiences to date is that the very same extremism, rigidity, blind faith and dogma that atheists claim plagues religion is very much rampant in their own circles. Trying to find a middle ground, at this point, appears to be a pointless endeavour. But I am the anal optimist, so I will persevere for a while longer before I decide if throwing in the towel is as inconsequential as persevering in my efforts to understand the rationale of the atheistic mind set. In fact, I don’t think it’s an attempt to understand the rationale, because I’m already quite convinced that that is as flawed as any argument a theist can present to prove the existence of God. If it was possible to prove the existence of God, we would not need faith to believe in God because the proof would render faith irrelevant. Unfortunately this is a point that many theists and atheists alike fail to understand.
The fact remains that atheists cannot, with hard evidence, disprove the existence of God, and theists cannot prove it either. But until they get past this blatantly obvious fact, and set aside the arrogance that accompanies such a debate, not much progress will be made in finding mutual understanding, respect or common ground between the two.