James the Preacher explains why atheists are atheists. We’re too stupid to know better.

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All these years I thought I was an atheist because I just didn’t see any evidence in support of the concept of God(s). After much critical thought and application of reason it seemed pretty logical that God, at least as described by the major religions of the world, is the result of wishful thinking and lack of understanding of the natural world.

But according to James the Preacher, it’s not possible that I used reason and logic because I’m just too stupid to do so. Also, I love sin too much to let it go:

In case you don’t want to watch the video it all boils down to the Bible says we’re fools for not believing in God (Psalm 14) and an old edition of Webster’s Dictionary defines a fool as “one destitute of reason, or of the common powers of understanding; an idiot”. Put the two together and, voila, atheists are too stupid to understand the concept that a Creation requires a Creator.

The problem with that argument is that it assumes the Universe is a creation as opposed to the results of a natural process. Certainly the dictionary James the Preacher is using would suggest that is the case as it sites “specifically, the act of bringing the universe or this world into existence” as one of the definitions of Creation, but the dictionary is not a scientific authority on the issue. Nor, for that matter, is the Bible. Still, the argument commonly used is that you can’t get something from nothing so there has to be a creator to have brought the Universe into existence and that creator is God.

We don’t know the full story of how the Big Bang happened yet, but we’re getting closer to it all the time and there’s evidence that it was a natural outcome that may not even be unique. Additionally, physics has shown us that something can spring from nothing and happens all the time in what would otherwise be considered empty space. If you have an hour to spare you can learn a lot about how the Universe could come from nothing in this talk by Lawrence Krauss on that very topic:

He has since written a book with the same title that goes further in-depth on how this is possible: A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing. If you spend any amount of time watching Krauss’ talk or reading his book you’ll note that he doesn’t come across as being particularly stupid yet, according to James the Preacher’s simplistic argument, he’s just this side of a drooling moron because he doesn’t believe in God.

The point being, there’s been a lot of effort and thought put into the mystery of how the Universe could come to exist via totally natural processes. On one side we have all of this research and experimentation that provides evidence that you can get something from nothing and the Universe may be a naturally occurring thing with no supernatural causes behind it. On the other hand we have a book largely written by bronze-age goat herders that says an invisible, all-powerful, all-knowing being decided one day, for no particular reason, to create the “heavens and the earth” and then created light (prior to any light sources) and then the sky and then put all the water in one spot so there would be land and then he created plants, and then stars, the sun and moon, animals of the sea and land, and finally man and it all took about a week. There’s no evidence to support that account of how the Universe came to be. None. Zero. Nada. It makes logical sense to accept the explanation that has at least some evidence backing it up, but James the Preacher says no, that makes you a fool and an idiot.

OK, I guess I’m an idiot then. At least by the definition that James the Preacher is using. I’m not going to bother with the second half of his argument — that atheists love sin — because it’s even stupider than his first argument and I’ve wasted more time on him than he deserves already. I just wanted to point out his mistaken assumption that Creation is the only possible explanation for the Universe. Not is it not the only possibility, it’s not even as well supported by the evidence than many of the other possibilities.