Classic argument from ignorance

Had an interesting conversation with a friend today, he knows I’m not really religious and wanted to press me on the issue, when I said I’m an atheist, he said jumped from that to asserting that I must believe in evolution, I almost facepalmed myself right there, I replied that I do not believe in evolution, for one thing I don’t enough about the topic to say whether I do or not, but I accept it as scientiffic fact and that even if our understanding of it today gets disproven someday, it’ll just be getting to a stronger answer based on more evidence.

So he threw the old “it’s just a theory” at me and said you can’t prove evolution is true, therefore there must be a god.

Okay so here’s what I want to know: why/how the hell does anyone jump from a god claim, or no-god claim to evolution to… duhhhh uhhm ehhh equals God did it?

Do some christians own like a manual for kak argument patterns like this? Why bring up evolution when you’re arguing about god (don’t answer)

He also got quite condescending, asked why I believe there’s no God - when I just pointed out that I do not believe in gods and that that isn’t the same as believing there is no god (lack of belief vs positive belief in no gods)

He then went “but you don’t know there are not any gods” So I got into the whole epistimology vs metaphysical argument,

but still if anyone out there had similar conversations/arguments with people, how do you deal with all the frustration of it all?

These arguments shouldn’t come up at all in today’s world, the B.S. arguments like this got to be long buried by now…

Why does this shit persist?

This shit has been persisting for millennia and will likely keep on persisting forever. I can see why a Vulcan like you would experience such frustration with such lack of logic. Me, I nowadays just feel smugly superior. :slight_smile:

Perhaps there should be a law that says people who reject science should not be allowed to benefit from it. Thus if you reject evolution (thereby basically rejecting all of modern biology) you don’t get access to modern health care services. If you believe in an earth only some thousands of years old, you are rejecting modern physics and geology, and thus are denied access to such things as fossil fuels and computers. Etc. Etc. Under such circumstances, perhaps these loons will rethink their position. :slight_smile:

Are all of these wonders not god given?

Once you’ve accepted, wholesale, a thoroughly weird creature, along with all of it’s ridiculous and inconsistent supernatural attributes, as your real and personal buddy, champion and insurance broker, there is probably not much potential left in the line of rational argument when it comes to defending your beliefs. In fact, there is an entire collection of formalised fallacies aimed at making excuses on God’s behalf. It is called Theology … the ultimate non-subject.

While it’s initially fun to engage our religious friends in this way, such discussions almost always become frustrating to those who feel duty bound to temper their arguments with reason. I’m not sure that there is any easy way around this. It’s ye olde “poles apart” problem. :wink:


I’m at a point where I will sigh, lift an eyebrow and ask them how their kids/cat/dog/state of the garden is doing. I change the subject pertinently. If they persist, I dont hesitate to tell them that I dont want to discuss it with THEM because they dont have the mental capacity to even begin to understand where I come from.

These arguments shouldn't come up at all in today's world, the B.S. arguments like this got to be long buried by now...

Agreed, but it does unfortunately.

Most frustrating.

It suits their belief.

He also got quite condescending,

Happens all the time, mostly from otherwise “nice” people.

He then went "but you don't know there are not any gods" So I got into the whole epistimology vs metaphysical argument,

I’m now of the belief that at least 90% (I’m leaning towards 99%) of the populace is too stupid to follow the conversation at that point. You’re just making yourself look like a big smartypants that uses strange words and they’ll disregard your argument due to lack of understanding. See: Idiocracy.

but still if anyone out there had similar conversations/arguments with people, how do you deal with all the frustration of it all?

I drink and smoke. Seriously, I feel so lost in the world sometimes I may as well have alien DNA coursing my veins.

Why does this shit persist?

People suck and the human race is totally fucked.

Actually, the fact that humanity succeeds reasonably well despite the persistence of these ludicrous beliefs demonstrates just the opposite. It shows, albeit in a very depressing way, how remarkably resilient our species is.

There’s a tendency among religious believers to think of or even to portray their own beliefs as no more extraordinary than, for example, believing that Earth is round. Since their religious beliefs are so much part and parcel of their thinking habits, they have a hard time separating and assessing them objectively and impartially. The result is that, when challenged by a non-believer, a favourite response is to suggest that we all need beliefs of some kind to live and to function, as often exemplified in the assertion that atheism is just as much a faith as any religion. The undertone of this is meant to imply that their beliefs are no more or no less plausible than, say, those of practising scientists. The basic problem with this line of argument is of course that beliefs are not all equally plausible.

It’s both ironic and hypocritical that young Earth creationists and other science-deniers argue primarily because they desire that others should respect their beliefs. They frequently complain that their critics and detractors don’t respect their religious freedom. However, this grievance rests largely on a confusion of rights: They have the right to believe whatever they wish, but they do not have the right to not have their beliefs challenged, especially when they air them publicly.

Moreover, there’s much irony and hypocrisy in their call for respect of their beliefs. They themselves usually show no respect for the dedicated and rigorous labours of hundreds of thousands of professional scientists who have winnowed many of nature’s secrets from all the background noise and thereby benefitted humanity. These experts also include those in the cognitive sciences who are building an increasingly compelling case that the pervasiveness of “god” across times and cultures is an artefact of how the human brain works. Religious believers brashly reject these findings on no good grounds other than that they threaten their beliefs and thereby they erode significantly their right to have their own beliefs respected. In this way, the argument becomes more about one’s ethical stance than about interpretation of facts, and we have found that pointing out this hypocrisy is a more fruitful approach with vocal believers. It’s a bit more successful at getting them to shut up.


In a sense this line of reasoning contains an admission that the evolution of life is the most plausible explanation for biodiversity and that the only reason to reject it would be religion. In the absence of religion, the acceptance of Darwinian evolution would therefore be a given.

Thanks, and may ye be touched by his noodly apendage for enlighting us on the wisdom of shit, here’s more from the forces that be:

Those Bloody Romulan miners, did they blow up your world as wel :wink:

Heard someone once say something like the right to freedom to expression doesn’t equal the right to freedom from feeling hurt, kinda paraphrased, think the real quote sounded more poetic somehow…

Consider your quote stolen! ;D

Thanks for the rewarding theft.

I’m starting to think that since global climate change is becoming a non-reversible thing, and extreme weather starting to rear it’s head (SNOW?!) all over the globe, meanwhile we have no hope of reversing it… in fact every day we throw more fuel on the fire, so to speak. All the while muppets over the pond are still trying to fuel the “controversy”… We may run out of time to be idiots sooner than we think.

I was watching a documentary on the history of earth, and the whole “snowball earth” thing throws a chilling light on how dramatic climate change could be.

But that’s just like, my opinion, man.

Ok ek’s nie so clued up met astronomie nie, maar die snowball earth nie daai idee van die sogaenaamde Big Rip gedagte van die inflation model nie?

Drie goed spring alty somehow na vore in my kop whenever ek warm vs koud goed hoor
Robert Frost
Armageddon vs Ragnarok
… en vandat ek die grappie gelees het:

"The following is an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry mid-term. The answer was so “profound” that the professor shared it with colleagues, which is why we have the pleasure of enjoying it as well.

Bonus Question:
Is Hell exothermic (gives of heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle’s Law, (gas cools off when it expands and heats up when it is compressed) or some varient.
One student however, wrote the following:

First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate that souls are moving into Hell and the rate they are leaving.
I think we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, lets look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Some of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to hell. Since there are more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to hell.
With birth and death rates as they are we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially.
Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume of Hell because Boyle’s Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand as souls are added.
This gives two possibilities:

  1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase untill all Hell breaks loose.
  2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop untill Hell freezes over.
    So which is it? If we accept the postulate given to me by Ms.Banyan during my freshman year that, “It will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you” and we take into account the fact that I still have not succeeded in having sexual relations with her, then #2 cannot be true.
    Thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and will not freeze.

The student recieved the only “A” given."
Atheist Empire - die site kom nou alweer op, jammer, maar ek love hulle grappies

Dis 'n sover onbewysde teorie wat huidige observasies pas, wat se dat die aarde op een punt in sy geskiedenis, honderde miljoene jare gelede, heeltemal/meestal in ys bedek was. Daar is 'n skakel in my vorige pos daaroor.

Ah, thanks. I just found the perfect turn of phrase to describe my long held feelings.