Why do atheists in general seem to jump at the chance to argue? I’m an atheist and I just find it tiring. I really, truly, believe in NOTHING except for the fact that I don’t know everything.
I’m finally starting to get up there in scientific courses at my college for personal reasons, and all I’m discovering is that after all the lectures I’ve sat through and books I’ve read, science still cannot quite explain everything. That is alright by me, but why do so many atheists take it to the extreme in arguments?
You have two questions here so I’ll address them individually.
First, the reasons why so many atheists seem eager to argue with theists are as varied as the reasons for why they are atheist. Given that, it should go without saying that I can’t speak to anyone’s reasons but my own, but if you wanted me to speculate then I’d say, in a very broad generality, the willingness to argue with theists is because atheists feel they offer a valid and worthy counterpoint to the claims being made. Many outspoken theists make a lot of extraordinary claims that should be challenged lest they take on an air of credibility they don’t really deserve. As for myself, in the early days of this blog I did it because I enjoyed the challenge and it helped me to refine my beliefs and justify holding them. These days I’m not quite a quick at jumping in mainly because it’s all too often a fruitless exercise.
As for your second question, well, I’m not quite sure what you mean by taking it to an extreme or why the fact that science doesn’t know everything would be a reason not to argue with theists. Science not knowing everything doesn’t mean the theists claims are true by default. For all we don’t know, we still know quite a lot. Enough to judge extraordinary claims from theists at the least. I’d be very surprised if mankind ever reaches a point where, collectively speaking, we will know all there is to know. That shouldn’t stop us from using science as the tool it is for determining what reality is and how it works. Or, for that matter, as a means of judging supernatural claims.
What about the rest of you SEB regulars? What are your reasons, if any, for arguing with theists?