I suspect that the main contribution of new atheism is going to be the attempted re-defining of the nature of reality and logic. And I don’t mean that as an insult- at least, any more than I would say: Most believers view the logical default of the universe as being ‘God exists.’ It would be why the fundamentalists and culturally ignorant among them are often surprised to find out that atheism exists.
But new atheism has created its own default on identical justification, near as I can tell. God must now be proven, yet atheism does not have to be. The problem is, God is a theological argument. Theological arguments are not provABLE, any more than atheism is provable- which they know(or should).
I’m against the need to prove beliefs, either way. I believe people are capable of believing any crazy idea they encounter. But when they try to claim that their crazy idea is the default or ‘logical norm’, then they must prove it. Why is subjective morality a more accurate or obvious truth than a single, objective morality(IE, Christianity)? Why is atheism preferable or more logical than theism? Why is no-God the default?
Until they can verifiably prove that, they can stick to making theological arguments like the rest of the crazy people.
No-god is not the default. The default is not to believe in something until there is evidence for it. There is no evidence for god, therefore no god is assumed. There is no belief involved in the atheist viewpoint.
Of course there is, you believe atheism is a correct viewpoint. How do you define God, and how do you reach the conclusion that there is no evidence for Him? Many people would claim the fact that the universe exists is evidence of Him.
Actually, I don’t need to believe that atheism is the correct viewpoint. I just need to look at the explanations offered for the beginning of the universe by scientists and note that they don’t involve a god. A god need not enter into my considerations at any point as a god has no accepted scientific definition. If I had never heard of a god, then at no point in the observable evidence of the workings of the universe would the question of a god arise.
And if you do try to use a god as an explanation for the beginnings of the universe, and I choose to take your proposition seriously even though you present no evidence for it, then I would look at the probability of such a god. The definition of a god I would use would be yours…perhaps, for example, a conscious entity that deliberately brought the universe into being. I would ask how such a conscious entity might come into existence, and I would likely receive the standard reply that this entity has always existed. But then always really has no meaning with respect to the beginning of the universe as evidence shows that time itself began with the beginning of the universe.
You could then keep putting on extra layers of explanation…this god exists outside of space and time, etc. At this point I would just shrug and invoke Occam’s razor…any explanation for a god becomes more complex than what it tries to explain.
But if you point out things like the “fine tuning” of the universe I would point out that this would at best give your god a purpose for the first several milliseconds of the universe, but after everything is fine-tuned than this god really wouldn’t be needed any more except for maybe the creation of life on earth. Again, a couple of milliseconds would be all that would be needed to create the first cyanobacteria. I guess that I would describe it as “belief” that doing, generously, a second’s worth of work over 13.74 billion years would be an awful waste of an all-powerful being, but I don’t need to do this, as invoking a god as explanations for these events goes against the rules of science.
So could you call my acceptance of the rules of science belief? I guess you could find a dictionary that might do so. I think it more accurate to refer to it is as accepting the evidence based on the success of the scientific process, the guidelines of which have, over the course of a lot of trial and error and thinking and deductions and brilliant observations, given us amazing technologies and put us into space and given us striped toothpaste and so on.
So, I don’t need to “believe” that a god doesn’t exist. I simply don’t see any reason to “believe” that one does. And invoking a god to answer science’s unknowns work against the rules of science, and the rules of science have thus far been very successful.
I don’t invoke God to answer scientific unknowns either- I invoke one to answer everything else. Religion and science are not in conflict.
Occam’s Razor works by comparing two competing theories, both with an equal explanation of all the evidence. The one that makes the fewest assumptions is ‘preferable’, not correct. So if God is the theist explanation of why the universe began(not how), what is the atheistic explanation of why the universe began? I guess if we do want to question how, then I’d say that the laws of nature prohibit explosions caused from nothing and in the absence of massive quantities of energy. Some atheistic explanations I’ve heard offer the existence of multiple universes to explain how it could be possible- but then, we’d be assuming that an infinite number of universes exist for which we have no evidence(by their nature, we will NEVER have evidence for them). That’s a lot MORE unproven assumptions than ‘God did it.’ Occam’s Razor is not always an effective tool when making such comparisons.
If time itself begins at the beginning of the universe, then how can anything have been created? The laws of cause and effect would suggest that that’s impossible, unless a cause and effect can happen simultaneously, or an effect is it’s own cause… doesn’t make sense. You can’t just brush off these questions with a refusal to even think about them and expect me to take your atheistic claims seriously.
The explanations offered by science for the beginnings of the universe, the beginnings of life, the purpose of existence, the truth of morality, etc., are all incomplete. So, complete them. And explain why your explanation is preferable to theism.