Friday, July 1, 2011

There are atheists and there are ATHEISTS

I have a few youtube subscriptions one of which is a vlog kept by a young woman about names. I find it more informational since I don't agree with her opinion about every name (she likes really cutsie, gag me names). Anyway...I noticed she had given a thumbs up to a vlog from another young lady titled Atheist Elitism. Going by the title, one has no idea what either of the women's religious affiliations are so I clicked on it. After a couple minutes in, I was seething and decided to stop watching it.

The woman was addressing a question about if she though she was an elitist atheist. She of course denied it. She said that she didn't think she was superior to religious people (okay), but that she thought that religious people don't think. And it kept going on like that as though anyone who is religious is a total idiot.

Similarly, I watched a vlog by my favorite vlogger Fr. Barron. You all know I love him. I was reading the comments and one of the commenter said "Bible-truth is beyond the understanding of the children at NASA" which I took to mean as a slap in the face of anyone who works at NASA or scientists in general. As I pointed out, you can be a scientist and a believer. There are a lot of people who work at NASA, work under NASA grants, and other observatories that are religious. One of the Vatican-run Observatories is in my backyard practically. My husband has connections with Brother Guy Consolmagno who is based at the Vatican and is the curator for the Vatican Meteorite Collection. You'll recall that he was interviewed by Stephen Colbert. So yeah, the whole notion that scientists are idiots and don't have an understanding of the Bible is completely ludicrous.

And if the shoe fits...the same could be said for the vlogger who seems to think that all Bible-believing or religious people don't think and just follow blindly like sheep. There are very few people who did not question their faith at one time or another. Even Mother Teresa described her prayer life as being dry at times. So it's completely unreasonable to say that religious people are mindless zombies (or whatever nasty thing she wants to imply).

In the vlogger's naivety, she forgets that the scientific method only answers the question "how." My husband studies meteorites and gives ages of them using a similar technique to carbon dating. Impacts of asteroids (where meteors and meteorites come from) affect his dating. He can only give a guess as to the age of the rock or the last impact. What he can't answer no matter how he tries is "why" these rocks impact in the first place (okay maybe he could say why they are running into each other). He can't explain using the scientific method the reason why there are rocks in the first place. How can something come from nothing. And that's where philosophy and religion answer the question "why" or "who" that the scientific method can't answer.

In a similar vein, you can't use the scientific method to disprove or prove that God exists. Therefore the vlogger has concluded that God doesn't exist because he can't be measured by the "very practical" scientific method. To believe in God (or not believe in God) requires something that she has apparently not "thought" about herself: faith. You have to have faith either way in what you believe in. Is her faith stronger than mine? That you can't test either. But suffices to say she must has some amount of unacknowledged faith especially since the vast majority of the world believes in something.

And even if she doesn't have belief in God, she must have faith that planes won't crash on her head or her burger won't get spit on. So she does have faith in people that she doesn't even know if they exist although one could argue that if she took the time she could get to know them. But so could she get to know God if she made an effort.

I suppose that my whole rant about this is that elitism is a state of mind. She clearly thinks she is superior simply because she believes she is more thoughtful. Likewise some religious people think they are superior simply because they believe. Although as Penn (an Atheist magician) said recently if you believe that someone was going to get hit by a bus wouldn't you try and save them, so why not evangelize if you think someone's soul is at jeopardy? Humility, I think, is a tall order and the best remedy for pride.

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