This weeks silly Claim: – “Atheism is logically incoherent” 1

Vasko Kohlmayer is at it again. It was not too long ago that he wrote an article in the Washington Post claiming that there is no such thing as an Atheist. Well here we go again, another silly Washington Post article from Mr Kohlmayer.

Apparently he has now decided, in stark contrast to his previous article, that Atheists do actually exist, and are simply illogical. So how does he establish this? Well, he starts out like this …

…let us turn to the Secular Web (formerly Internet Infidels) which is the most widely frequented atheist website on the internet.

He then proceeds to pick one … count them … one single argument from a long list and proceeds to demolish it. Incidentally, it took me some time to actually find what he was attacking, I’ll not bore you with the details, but if truly curious, it comes from Number 7 on this page.

There are two of immediate key points.

1) I personally don’t gave a toss about proofs that God does not exist, and many others hold a similar view. It is not our problem to worry about disproving nonsense. Instead the burden of proof rests with the believers to present some credible objective evidence … so far that has been exactly zero.

2) Mr Kohlmayer is guilty of quote mining. He has plucked the argument away from the surrounding text and then proceeds to demolish it in isolation and so implies the author was being incoherent. What he fails to tell you is that the author expresses some concern regarding this specific argument, but nevertheless includes it for completeness. For example the author writes … “not all nontheists would accept…” … and also explains … “All such arguments, though, would lead into the same sort of difficult and controversial issues as does the Nonphysical-vs.-Personal Argument, and so should not be regarded to be among the most forceful of the various atheological arguments available

The fact that Mr Kohlmayer is prepared to quote-mine and so craft a strawman is no surprise, it’s the sort of dishonesty and lack of integrity we have come to expect from believers, nope no surprise there at all. But he does not stop with that, he then goes on to claim that this is part of an atheist worldview because it comes from a popular web-site, and of course every breathing atheist considers every word on this website to be the absolute truth, especially when quote-mined and taken out of context … yea right.

OK, lets pause for a moment, what the heck is an atheist worldview? He keeps using that term, but I honestly have no idea what that actually means. Atheism is not a worldview, instead it is a conclusion evidence has been presented to verify the claim that there is a god, so we simply reject the assertions regarding god. In other words, it’s the null hypothesis, that’s it, nothing more. It’s not a belief, it’s not a religion, it says nothing about how you should live, it says nothing about what is right and wrong … it is just the rejection of silly claims about supernatural gods due to zero evidence (So how many times need I repeat it before they get it? … many more I suspect).

In the end what am I to conclude? Well Mr Kohlmayer is well qualified, he hasĀ earned degrees in philosophy and literature, and has written for a number of newspapers, so what we learn is that being smart does not in any way prevent you from being either irrational or a complete kook, instead you simply think up really smart ways to justify nonsense.



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One thought on “This weeks silly Claim: – “Atheism is logically incoherent”

  • J Lantern

    I think when a theist says “atheist worldview”, they mean something very different from how we might define the term. I would say that any worldview that doesn’t include a god is an atheist worldview.

    I would also point out that possessing a couple of degrees makes one educated, but, not necessarily “smart.” ;-)