Is atheism irrational? It definitely is. No matter which flavor of atheism you look at, you’ll find it’s based on fundamentally flawed beliefs. For the sake of simplicity we’ll look at atheism as split into two camps: soft and hard (AKA negative and positive). Also we’ll be dealing with lay definitions. In philosophy, atheism generally refers to hard atheism.
Hard (positive) atheism is the purely faith-based belief that there is no God. Believing something doesn’t exist without having proven its nonexistence is completely irrational. A rational person is convinced in the truth (or falsity) of something commensurately based on the evidence available to support its truth (or falsity). A rational person knows something is false only if it has been logically proven false. This includes falsification by the scientific method.
Soft (negative) atheism is the lack of belief in God because of a belief that there is no evidence (knowledge) to support any God’s existence. In other words, soft atheism is simply agnosticism. Why would soft atheism exist when we already have the concept of agnosticism? Further, rational people also do not align themselves with very irrational people when they don’t have to unless some other motive is afoot.
Now why would soft atheists align themselves with atheism despite being associated with the glaringly obvious irrationality of hard atheism? If they truly were rational, why wouldn’t they distance themselves from the hard atheists? Why don’t they criticize the irrationality of hard atheists instead of welcoming them with open arms? Why also would they not simply call themselves agnostics since that is supposedly what they really are? Maybe it’s because they’re not really agnostics at all. The only plausible explanation is that soft atheists are simply hard atheists masquerading as soft atheists because they are unable to explain away the irrationality of their faith based position of hard atheism. By fraudulently posing as agnostics they can still publicly call themselves atheists without having to answer hard questions about their irrational faith.
Imagine someone who strongly believes in science. She’s looking for a group to join that shares these views. She finds two groups “Friends of Science” and “Science Friends”. “Friends of Science” is picky and very strictly allows only highly science oriented people to join. “Science Friends” however is astonishingly open and counts among its members flat earthers, astrologers and channellers. None of these three areas are valid areas of science at all. Someone who values science would always choose “Friends of Science” and never want to join such a group such as “Science Friends”. Someone who values science would criticize the “Science Friends” for allowing such irrational members. Anyone who claimed to value science but rejected “Friends of Science” and joined “Science Friends” willingly and without criticism could only be a fraud.
Some “weak” atheists try to sidestep the issue by claiming that the existence of God is of low probability. But probabilities can only be computed when there is data and no data is ever produced. Claiming to have computed probabilities when such a thing is impossible is incredibly irrational.
P. Irrational people believe in unprovable claims.
P. X believes that there is no God but cannot prove it.
C. X is irrational.
P. Rational people withhold belief in something when there is no evidence for that thing.
P. Z is unconvinced of the existence or nonexistence of any god due to lack of evidence.
C. Z is rational.
P. Rational people do not belong to groups of irrational people if they have an rational alternative.
P. Y claims to hold the same position as Z but instead choses to belong to a group with X as a member.
C. Y is irrational.
P. Rational people understand that probabilities cannot be computed when there is no data.
P. Y claims that any god is improbable but cannot produce any data.
C. Y is irrational.
This argument has elicited several weak atheist “criticisms”.
- “Atheism is about belief while agnosticism is about knowledge. “
Knowledge is justified true belief, so both agnosticism and atheism are about belief.
- “You don’t get to choose what the definition of atheism is!”
We’re not in any way changing definitions. We’re showing, using sound logic, what atheists believe despite their lies to the contrary.
- “Your argument is childish, is full of fallacies and proves nothing at all!”
When believers cannot refute criticism that threatens their blind ideological faith, they lash out with emotional pronouncements. This happens with cult members, religious fundamentalists and atheists.
As we can see, whichever way you look at atheism, it is a belief system that is fundamentally irrational. Couple this with the undeniable reality that the God of pantheism is a logically established fact. Rational people accept established facts, they don’t ignore them or belittle them. If a purported fact is not actually established, rational people will explain why rather than simply issue empty pronouncements of faith.