Hi forum!

My name is tom I’m a brand new member :) but I couldn’t help think of an idea when I was reading the various posts here. I’m sure everyone that is a member here (including me) has had the experience where your views been challenged by a theist. The problem with being in atheist is that people suddenly assume you have 7 PhD’s and are able to answer all the unanswered questions of the universe. Things like the big bang theory and evolution are pretty darn complicated and many of us, including me, don’t have the tools to answer them properly.

 

So seeing as there are a lot of intelligent people here, I thought it might be a nice idea to collaboratively summarise some of the more complicated parts of theistic-challenging scientific theories. This will help atheists because it will give them ‘ammunition’ (for lack of a better word) when asked some difficult questions, as well as any theists reading that there are answers out there.

 

Coming from a biological and neuroscience background, I am fairly confident I could contribute a few brief articles in a simplistic and completely objective way that members could read. For example I can provide a legitimate scientific insights into such questions as:

 

How does evolution work?

Where did the first cell come from?

Why are there still monkeys if we evolved from monkeys?

How can there by so much complexity in nature without a creator?

Why morality exists? (even if you’re an atheist lol)

 

However I’m not so confident to answer questions like:

 

How did the big bang start?

How did the earth form?

 

But hopefully someone can. And I’m obviously open to anyone that wants to ask a question; there are no stupid questions lol. So that’s my idea… thoughts? 

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If you have an iPhone, or iPad, or iPod touch, there is an app that you 
can download called creationist claims. It is free, is very thorough, and 
has links to much of it's sorce articles.
It's a good idea for anyone to know the basics on these subjects.  Still, one thing atheists are more willing than theists to do is to admit "I don't know."   This is especially true when not only does the individual "not know" but when the best educated scientists also don't yet know.  I suggest that rather than jump to the odd conclusion that "God did it" , when we don't yet have all the scientific answers, we instead wait and watch as the new scientific discoveries unfold.
I agree that it is ok to say I don't know. I think it is important to set an example that people CAN not know something AND not attribute it to an invisible being. To a theist, what you do not know is controlled by a god. That is something we need to point out. We do not attribute the unknown to the supernatural.
I find it telling that the "original sin" was eating from the forbidden "tree of knowledge".  Ignorance was not just bliss, it was paradise!

How does evolution work?

Where did the first cell come from?

Why are there still monkeys if we evolved from monkeys?

How can there by so much complexity in nature without a creator?

Why morality exists? (even if you’re an atheist lol) 

Tom, you seem to have come somewhat closer to the idea that I have in my mind. You should actually write the articles that you say you can write and then get some help to write articles on other subjects. While doing so, you may openly oppose blind religious ideas.  You should circulate these articles not among confirmed atheists but among young persons who have an open mind. This may help to spread atheism and may be a better service to rational thinking.

MADHUKAR KULKARNI. 

Tom,

You do realise that everybody is not a scintific expert and so can not give best scientific answers, but remember, the creationists are using science and technology to enjoy and make their life comfortable and oppose science only when it hurts their self interests. We should expose their hopocracy.

When one questions the bonafides of science, we should first ask him to prove his bonafides to question science. Once, when a creationist started to question science while in discussion with me, I asked him why do you question what science is doing? Why do you not make your own efforts and prove that heaven exists and that the creation in Genessis has actually taken place? No answer.

All opposition to evolution or big bang is hypocritical. The creationists know very well that science is not wrong. They are only protecting their vested interests.

Yes of course I realise the hypocrisy of creationists. 

Again... that was my whole point.

But i think i'll leave it up to others to contribute to the shared understanding of the atheist community. Besides i think we all have an understanding of basic scientific concepts that directly contradict  theism, like evolution. I think my idea is somewhat redundant now. 

"Besides i think we all have an understanding of basic scientific concepts that directly contradict  theism, like evolution."

Just to offer a different perspective. Creationist/ID claims against science are easily debunked …using science. But this isn't defending atheism, it's defending science. Keeping atheism out of the defense of science is actually a good thing.

  1. Science isn't atheism, or atheist, …it doesn't address theism/atheism.
  2. Theist claims that some science is "atheist science", is a red herring, pointing this out is a very important refutation. 

Theological "proofs" don't all revolve around cosmology and teleology anyway, as such; science isn't the be all, end all justification for atheism/argument against theism. But, as was already mentioned in this thread, TalkOrigins is probably the most complete archive of claims/refutations anywhere.

I would respectfully suggest that those wanting to be more activist in their atheism, look to all the theological arguments/proofs for god(s).

  • Cosmological Argument
  • Teleological Argument
  • Ontological Argument
  • Moral Law Argument
  • Pascal's Wager
  • Various arguments from fallacy
For those who want to debate theism from the standpoint of atheism, the best tools are logic, critical thinking, epistemology and a good grasp of formal and informal logical fallacies (in order to "spot the con", and to avoid making bogus arguments/counter arguments).
Google is your friend here, as is acquiring good research skills (the top search results aren't necessarily the best). Try to cite everything (if you use wikipedia always check cited sources, and cite them directly). 
Don't make the same mistakes they do (know your logical fallacies!).
If you call them on a logical fallacy, don't just cry "FALLACY!", …prove it.
…my 2¢

and Occam's Razor...

Hi Tom!  Glad you found this site!  My problem is I hear wonderful answers to shoot back at the xtians questions, and then forget them while I'm debating.  I blame it on middle-age... :)

Tom,

I think the best thing that works for me when all the questions start coming is this:

Just because I may not have an answer does not mean it is ok to make things up.  I am not in the business of spreading unverifiable speculation, in effect, becoming a liar to the next generation.  Are you?

Something along those lines works when this "gotcha logic" comes:  If you don't believe and you're wrong then you risk suffering the 'wrath'.  If you believe and you're wrong then no harm done.

My response is:  If I believe and I'm wrong, I will have participated in the most systemic line of historic ignorance ever to suffer humankind.  If I don't believe and I'm wrong, only I will suffer the wrath.  Does the risk of being wrong weigh more on your own selfish salvation... even at the risk of being a liar?

These have worked for me at times to get him/her thinking outside the box.

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