Really, why should I care. What do you have to offer anyone that is at all useful? Oh? You and I are a random collection of mutative accidents with nothing but nothing to look forward to? What we experience as “thinking” and “knowledge” and “will” and “morality” are all imaginary constructs with no real significance – there are only “atoms inside my skull that happen to be happening”? Why do you bother to even think at all since you have no ultimate reason to trust thoughts to be actually real or true?
I know I know… blah blah blah science blah blah blah…
What is science?
On the surface, it is only 7 letters combined arbitrarily into 1 “word”.
a single distinct conceptual unit of language
the method of human communication consisting of the use of words in a structured and conventional way.
the conveying or sharing of ideas and feelings.
Science is first of all a conceptual unit or symbol which humans use to communicate an idea.
What is the idea?
the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.
from Old French, from Latin scientia, from scire ‘know.’
Science is the idea that we can know stuff by observing and interacting with things we can see and touch. You will likely agree, but you have no reason to other than the fact that someone once told you it was so and you agreed to share the symbology. What does it really mean to “know” something? Ultimately it is just chemicals and bits of dust arranging themselves in a particular fashion inside our noggins. How do you trust the actuality of anything that happens inside or outside your own head? Everything you observe and interact with goes through some kind of translation into chemicals and bits of dust – how do you know the translation is accurate? Oh… you are going to compare with the translation process that is occurring in someone else and trust that theirs is accurate? I say the ball is blue, and you say the ball is blue, so the ball must be blue? Really? So knowledge is mere mutually agreed upon experience? What are you going to do if I say the ball is red? One or both of us are apparently mis-translating reality, and knowledge becomes only an arbitrary preference between competing ideas.
Yes, I am calling your atheism an arbitrary preference between competing ideas. If the interpretation of reality is being performed by humans as entailed by the naturalistic world-view, we can’t trust our own thinking, or anyone else’s for that matter. Of course… if I can’t trust human thinking to be accurate and based in reality I can’t trust any observation or argument leading to atheism or anything else. Any “knowledge”, or “purpose” or “meaning” are all ultimately mere fictions of a mutant translating and processing machine. Whimsy is all that remains. Now I like some whimsy now and then, but it is certainly nothing to take very seriously as you suggest I should – and so I say “so what”.
Allow me to suggest a more honest response for you…
“I don’t know”
Or how about: “If there is a creator god of some sort out there, my own experience has not compelled me into devotion towards it.” That is pretty honest for many. Or maybe even: “My experience has indeed compelled me into devotion, but competing values have caused me to prefer one devotion over another.”
But the atheist says “I deny the existence of a personal supreme being or beings with the power of creation ex nihilo”.
Perhaps I have mis-represented the atheist though… I will consult a reference:
“Atheism is usually defined incorrectly as a belief system. Atheism is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods; it is a lack of belief in gods.”
Clearly I was incorrect. Apparently an atheist merely lacks belief and does not actively deny. Yes, it is rather dumb to take a stance such as “Throughout the entire undiscovered universe and beyond, I know for an absolute certainified fact that there is no creator God anywhere to be found.” One cannot disprove God, so it is safer (and saner) to say one “lacks belief”. Ok fine. But wait, why is there also an Activism page… https://atheists.org/activism
The goal is stated as “raising the profile of atheism and normalizing atheism in the public discourse.”
I personally lack a belief in woodchucks with wings and I so passionately lack this belief that I am going to fight to normalize my lack of belief in the public discourse. Not only do I not want my kids to be taught that some rare and to-date-unobserved woodchucks have wings, I don’t want your kids being taught it either. This is not “lack”, this is arrogance.
As an atheist attempting to “normalize” atheism to me [read: proselytize], do you realize what you ask? You ask me to believe that “reason is simply the unforeseen and unintended by-product of mindless matter at one stage of its endless and aimless becoming.” And then you attempt to tell me that atheism is the only “rational” and “scientific” option for my trust when your basic world-view has already undermined the reliability of any such a thing.
If there truly is no god as you are attempting to propose, then truly it does not matter which philosophy you live under. Who cares about the “testimony” of mindless matter? Reality is nothing, truth is nothing, science is nothing and the whole thing slits its own throat in a self-stultifying grand hurrah. Ex nihilo nihil fit. Do you not see this yet?
Granted, the existence of a creator God does not necessarily establish the reliability of our thinking either, but it would establish that the idea of “mind” had a pure source and that a true perception of reality is possible – whether or not any of us have access to it.