Atheists Who Run to “Science”

I began this blog in 2009 in reaction to Christians telling my son he was going to hell (see the story here). Thus my blog started with posts about the silliness and out-right obvious potential dangers of religions. Back in the day when blogs were more popular, my posts comments were loaded with arguments from both religious and religion-free folks (a nicer way to say “atheists”). I knew I’d disagree with many of the religious folks, but I was surprised to discover that I also disagree with many of the arguments of atheists.

These atheists’ arguments helped me to better understand both the function of religions and of ourselves. I have written many posts against the mistaken views of these atheists. Below are the top four mistaken things these atheists said or implied followed by a brief summary of why I disagreed. Tell me how you feel about these:

  1. “all religious people, unlike me, are stupid”
    This is blatantly false — no need to go further.
  2. “all religious people, unlike me, are merely superstitious and illogical”
    We are all more superstitious and more illogical than we imagine. Religious people own no monopoly here.
  3. “Religious beliefs, unlike mine, are just stupid beliefs”
    Most religious people do not embrace their religion as mere truth propositions. Though a religious person may say their faith is doctrinal, they usually subconsciously embrace their religion more for social and meaning support. Indeed religion-free folks also sacrifice reason for meaning and social connections. We all do it.
  4. “I reject God because I embrace science”
    “Science” is not as clean as many atheists tend to believe — their degree of faith is often unfounded. All science is inextricably mixed with our human foibles even though it tries to avoid these. There are many good books on the foibles of “science” (method, practice, bias, politics and much more), but two books I enjoyed this year that illustrates the deep seated problems with “science” are:
    • Science Fictions: How fraud, bias, negligence, and hype undermine the search for truth — by Stuart Ritchie, 2020 (Amazon)
    • Lost in Math: How beauty leads physics astray — by Sabine Hossenfelder, 2015 (Amazon)

I wrote this post just to introduce those two books — both were written by very bright, accomplished scientists. Is science incredibly valuable? Yes ! Do we often deceive ourselves in how we embrace science? Absolutely ! Depending on comments, I may add more to this post. Thank you.

7 Comments

Filed under Philosophy & Religion

7 responses to “Atheists Who Run to “Science”

  1. Fabiana Laffitte

    What was the most interesting idea you found in Sabine Hossenfelder’s book?

  2. @ Fabiana,
    Please share a bit before I answer, Fabiana, to help direct my reply. Have you read the book? Do you know Sabine’s stuff? Do you have agreements, disagreements? What are your interests? There was not ONE most interesting idea. Her whole analysis method was insightful.

  3. It is true about the atheism-espousers who shield behind science. Especially frustrating are the ones who do not actually know very much about science. They just adopt what appeals to them superficially as the most likable position without any true self examination. This, of course, is also happening with great frequency among the ones who declare themselves religious. Not doing one’s own deeply felt searching about such matters is an okay stance in life if one so wishes. But such people should never start publicly broadcasting their certainties about.

    If someone told my child he was going to hell, I would be on his private doorstep the next day. 🙂

  4. By the way, Sabine H. exposes herself, regarding materialism, as a ridiculously not nuanced thinker in a video dialog with John Horgan concerning the reality (or not) of free will. (about a year or so ago). I have no reason to doubt her ideas about misusing math though. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRj93ZW3yC4

  5. @ stolzy

    (A) I agree that most of us “adopt what appeals to [us] superficially as the most likable position without any true self examination”.

    (B) Interesting choice of a verb phrase, “exposing herself” — as if one position on one thing can make the whole person “a ridiculously not nuanced thinker”. Such sentences reminds me of #1 & #3 statements of atheists that I wrote in my post. It must be nice to be among the very few nuance thinkers in the world.

  6. Adam

    I read both. Still checking your blog, we met in Lavernock a few years back. Cheers from Poland.

  7. @ Adam,
    Well hello!! “Few years back” — more like EIGHT years back, I think 😉
    It was when my daughter and I were all staying with Billy & you all. Hi !
    Both were great books, don’t you think?

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