A few days ago, Rabbi Adam Jacobs posted an open letter to atheists on the Huffington Post. It started reasonable enough, but very quickly degenerated into nonsense. You can read his letter here. This is my response:
Dear Rabbi Jacobs,
I got to the second paragraph before realizing that you are being disingenuous. It seems to me that there really are no true theists (by your definition) because in order for you to be a theist you must prove that there is a God and in order to do that you would need evidence. Of course, atheists need no such proof in anything as we just have to lack a belief. They may be gods of all kinds running around the universe, but since there is no evidence presented for such beings, I lack belief in them and therefore fall into the category of atheist. While I cannot speak for others, in addition to being an atheist (one who lacks belief in a deity), I am also an agnostic (one who lack knowledge in a deity). In fact, because I am agnostic, I am also an atheist. While you can label me whatever you want, if you are going to insist on your straw man definitions, then you must also be an agnostic and not actually a theist because by your definitions it would be ridiculous to take any position other than agnostic.
As for Antony Flew, he never claimed belief in a personal deity. In his old age, while losing his mind, Christian intellectuals fed him misinformation and wrote a book in his name. He still never claimed belief in the Abrahamic deity. For the record, “our experts” use actual evidence, where your experts use bad arguments, misinformation, and the argument by authority which you are attempting to exploit right here. While I am sure you wish that different people classified as experts (some by themselves) makes it a draw, the fact is that you or your “experts” have yet to present any valid evidence for your position. Until you do, it will not be a draw at all. Theism is no more a draw with atheism than astrology is a draw with astronomy or alchemy is a draw with chemistry.
Having spend a significant part of my life as a Jew, I can't understand why you would believe such ridiculous stories and spend so much time and money forcing your ridiculous beliefs on everyone else (tax free) while stunting human progress and being so hateful toward others. Hitler for the record was a Catholic and a strong God believer. Why would a Jew side with him? I should also point out that it isn't that Abrahamic believers do horrible things “in the name of religion,” but rather that they do it “because of religion.” Your holy books are extremely violent, sexist, hateful, anti-science, anti-humanity and anti-human progress.
I am open to the idea that religion isn’t inherently bad, but it seems that there is a mountain of evidence (both in the past and the present) against that proposition at least where the Abrahamic religions are concerned. As far as Jewish history goes, I was shocked to learn that much of it is a lie. For example, the Exodus from Egypt never happened. The Jews were never slaves in Egypt and this religious lie has demonized the Egyptian people for long enough and given the Jewish people a persecution complex which has become self-fulfilling. This is yet another mark against religion. Religion manufactures history that never actually happened.
You need not accept the multiverse hypothesis. No one is asking you to ascribe to it on faith. That isn’t how science works. While it probably is a very good hypothesis, it is still in its infancy and little evidence has be presented to support it yet. However, you should realize that Einstein's General Theory of Relativity is pretty well established and almost certainly true. This being the case, space and time are linked and relative. So before space there would be no time and thus to ask what came before the Big Bang would be akin to asking what is south of the south pole. It is a meaningless question.
At the end of your article you again fall back to authority. Your view that Darwin has authority and that his opinions outside of his scientific discovery means anything it part of the problem with religion. Stephen Hawking said it best when he stated, “There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority and science, which is based on observation and reason. Science will win because it works.”
Author's Note: I am not the only one who responded to this Rabbi's article. Landon Ross also wrote a brilliant response. Check it out HERE. And my friend Glen Loev also wrote a response. Check his out HERE.
I go into more detail on many of these issues in the Atheism 101 section.
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