Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Atheists Contradict Each Other

The title is something I hear quite often, with variations to suite a specific incident. It is also very incorrect. Let's go there ...

Ask a hundred christians the answer to something, you will get a hundred different answers, many will contradict each other as there is no standard with which to define who is accurate, and who is just making stuff up as they go along. The reason for this lies in their own "doctrine," a silly word that really means "bible" to them. The wording in the texts they claim to abide by is meant to be contradictory, the original con artists were actually pretty smart on this matter.

Thus you wind up with "interpretations," and nothing that is interpreted can ever be declared as fact for this very reason. The irony that these same christians often claim science is also "interpreted," talk about a total lack of education there. The reason they can often get away with this claim is the very same reason the title of this article is incorrect, atheist do often give a wide variety of answers to even the most solid fact.

But it's not "interpretation" that causes it, it's perspective. Perspective has nothing to do with interpretation, though interpretation is often skewed by perspective, the two are not mutually inclusive. What is really happening is that each atheist will have studied a different field in any particular area, and since fields overlap a lot you will get answers specific to their fields on the same topic quite often.

I'll use the evolution of the human eye as one of the most perfect examples of this. To a geneticist or biochemist you will be given a possible reason in which such an evolutionary track could occur, and there are many such possibilities. There are actually more possibilities of how this could occur than what actually did occur, because it only happened in with one such possibility.

In comes the paleontologist who will show you how we understand it did occur, through fossil and biological evidence found in our rocks. By looking at the fossils, then referring the known possibilities, it's pretty easy to figure out which one happened. This answer will be nearly indisputable fact, we have the records in stone.

While the two answers will appear to be very different, they are not. They appear to be different because of the fields of study, and thus the perspective of the one offering the answer. This is compounded by language, culture, and even current emotional state. Neither answer will be incorrect, both will be correct, they just address different contexts.

Oh, what a horribly misunderstood word, context if often touted as an excuse for interpretations of religious texts varying, which is really just ignoring all the other reasons for it. Context is essentially saying "in light of this information," which is more apt in describing the different answers you receive to scientific inquiries.

Science, the key to all our, real, understanding of the universe ... and beyond. Oddly enough there is not one "universe" but a bunch of them in what we can now just refer to as "reality." Science is not really a "thing" though, often people will incorrectly assume or imply that science just does. However, science is a tool, much like a hammer or computer, well, more like a hammer and a computer in one, as well as a stethoscope, a telegraph, a ... you get the idea.

It's a generic tool that, when used properly, can be used to find flaws in evidence. Science does not disprove assertions, it finds flaws in the evidence, and an assertion lacking evidence can, and should, be dismissed. That's what science does for us, it's like a filter, removing the rock and leaving us with gold.

It is no coincidence that us atheists are prone to studying scientific findings so much. For one, without all that worshiping of an imaginary being we have a lot of free time. Another is that we cannot be satisfied with one, simple, answer. We have to know more, when one answer is found we have to find other answers to compare them to. That's just a very common trait atheists share, and one that helps keep our species from looking like total morons.

So yes, our answers will vary; yes, we will disagree; and yes, no two atheists will ever be identical. But that's what makes us so much more human than most religious people.

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