The Atheist Dilemma, or Why the New Atheism is Just Silly


The Atheist Dilemma

It is popular among the new atheists to say that religion has and always will be detrimental to society. They argue that it actually harms a society to embrace religious viewpoints. But unfortunately, this poses quite a problem with consistency for atheists. For most new atheists, naturalism/scientism is the only viable theory in existence. Everything can and must be explained naturally, meaning that when it comes to humans natural selection is the rule of the day.

But if natural selection is the driving force behind all human interactions, then criticizing religion poses an extreme problem for atheists. Consider this:

If religion is truly the bane of a society and harms the chances of a society’s survival, then how did it come about that it exists? If it has no survival benefit, then it should have been selected out via natural selection, like the tail on ancient humans or the short beaks on finches during a drought.

If, alternatively, religion came about as a survival process, then perceived evils aren’t evil at all, but instead have aided in the propagation of homo sapiens, meaning we have no reason to argue against religion. It is a survival trait, thus arguing against religion is the equivalent to arguing against having eyes or having rationality.

Thus, the new atheists must explain how religion came about and was (and is) the predominant view among humans for thousands of years while simultaneously harming our survival, or they must acknowledge that religion has aided in our survival, thus nullifying their arguments.

What is worse is that if religion is no longer advantageous to survival then it will die a natural death, meaning there’s no need to argue against it. If humans lost the need to hear then there would be no reason to argue against listening; it would naturally die off. If religion is just a bi-product of human survival, then it will naturally die off if not needed, and if it doesn’t die off then obviously it’s needed, so there’s no reason to argue against it.

Now, I don’t agree with any of the presuppositions of the new atheists, but I’m simply showing how under their own system they put themselves out of jobs (that is, if they logically follow their own system). You can’t on one hand argue that religion developed out of a need for humans to survive, but on the other hand explain that religion has been the greatest evil thrust upon humanity. At some point, if you’re concerned with being intelligent and logical, you have to make a choice (under their system that is).

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