|Orthodox Outlet for Dogmatic Enquiries||Atheism|
Atheist irrational thinking
1. Atheism is a religion
Atheists may consider themselves “rationalists”, “unprejudiced” and “progressive”, but the truth is a lot different for most of them, as we shall see in this series of articles on atheism. This is the first of these articles.
The difference between Atheism and Agnosticism
Most of these people characterize themselves as “godless”. But, only few of them have comprehended the significance of this expression, or the logical contradictions that are prerequisites of its acceptance.
Who exactly should be called “godless”? The person who BELIEVES THAT GOD DOES NOT EXIST. But, this phrasing alone makes it obvious that atheism presupposes a faith in the non-existence of God. This is not a play on words here. When we analyze the subject further down, it will become obvious that it is exactly as we said above.
Many atheists claim: “I don’t believe in God, because I have no evidence of this.” But when you ask them: “What evidence do you have of the opposite?” they can only present their hypotheses, without a shred of actual evidence. Thus, their atheist position is not the result of any evidence, but simply their CHOICE between two, improvable aspects: the existence and the non-existence of God.
On realizing this impasse, and in their attempt to avoid this logical contradiction, some of them say: “I am not rejecting the existence of God; I simply don’t have a piece of evidence that will make me believe in God”.
These people are consistent in what thy say. The only thing is, THEY ARE NOT CALLED ATHEISTS; THEY ARE CALLED AGNOSTICS. An Atheist is the one who rejects the existence of God. An Agnostic is the one who is open to the possibility of God existing, but has not yet been convinced of it. So, in this series of topics, we shall be dealing with the Atheists, and not the Agnostics, who are more logical.
And I am referring to the true Agnostics; the ones who can recognize the above difference. Because there are also those who claim to be open to the possibility of God’s existence, but declare themselves to be “atheists”, thus indicating that they have basically taken a stance, hence their claim of being open to the possibility of God’s existence is only a cover-up, to conceal their contradiction. But they are easily detected, by their open hatred towards anything that has to do with God. The fact alone that they claim to be open to the possibility of God’s existence, shows that: either they are not true atheists, but are suffering from a total confusion of meanings, or, they are actually atheists, who are trying to conceal their fanaticism behind the cover of agnosticism.
It is therefore important –in any conversation with atheists- to clarify exactly what they mean, and what their affiliation is to Agnosticism.
So, from the moment someone says: “I am an atheist”, he is actually declaring his faith in an unproven statement that: “God doesn’t exist”.
And it is so improvable, as is the acknowledgement that “God exists”. Hence, atheism is not aligned with rationalism and logic. It is simply one more religion.
The negative notion of God
But, there is another contradiction in the logic of atheism:
Even though -at first glance- atheism appears to reject every notion of God, deep down, it is inconceivable for someone to reject something, unless they have related it to something. We reject something, when we have somehow related it to something else. Hence, a notion of God must pre-exist in our mind, which want to reject.
It is impossible for one to escape from the question of God, regardless whether he is a Christian, or a follower of another religion, or even a denier of every notion of God. That person first must sort out in his mind, exactly what it is that he is rejecting, before proceeding to reject it.
So, when an atheist says: “I reject the notion of God”, it is consistent to ask him: “How do you perceive the notion of God?” because he has A CERTAIN NOTION in mind that he is rejecting. If we ask him more analytically, we usually hear him speak of a specific “type” of god, whom he understands as “God”.
Comprehending the “type” of god he has in mind is very important for Christians, and especially for Orthodox Christians, because in Orthodox theology, even the minutest detail regarding God is of great importance, which can change everything. In doing this, we will realize that usually (if not always), an atheist has an entirely mistaken notion of “what is a god”, or, “what” or “who” is God.
If the atheist is simply prejudiced –as is the majority of atheists– we perceive that he has entirely fallacious notions of all of the above; that he will speak of monster-gods, which not even we Christians accept. In the few atheists who reject God on true philosophical and consistent grounds, we perceive a rejection of the non-existent gods of both Western and Eastern religions. These people NEVER reject the God of Orthodoxy. The only ones opposed to the God of Orthodoxy, are those who have an utter ignorance of philosophy as well as a multitude of prejudices and obsessions. The latter usually repeat the words of atheist philosophers in parrot-fashion, without having the faintest idea of what those words mean, so that they could understand they are not turning against the Christian God, but the god of the Westerners.
But on these arguments and prejudices we shall go into more detail, in a separate article
Translation by K.N.
Article published in English on: 12-9-2005.
Last update: 12-10-2005.