by D.M. Murdock

Freethought Examiner

September 22, 2009

from Examiner Website


Richard Dawkins
Photo by Matti

These days, we often see the battle raging in news items, on websites and in forums between theists and atheists, as one tries to outwit the other, etc., ad infinitum. Each side takes great glee in providing a more clever or morally superior position than the other.


The question is, why? Why does one side or the other care?

Atheists will claim that they are out to debunk theism because of its horrendous past record of atrocities, while theists have been supplied with great ammo in the opposite direction by the purported atheistic regimes of Stalin, Hitler and Pol Pot, to name a few apologies slung in return.

Theists - specifically Christians - next raise up the issue of "saving souls," when they give reasons for their proselytizing efforts, which essentially constitute attempts at mind control.


Atheists likewise become pushy and aggressive in insisting that everyone toss the idea of God out of their minds.


Everybody's a 'fool'

This theist versus atheist debate is a never-ending battle frequently characterized by mudslinging and ad homs from both camps, such as calling people "fools" - a favorite epithet used by both theists and atheists.


For example, in their attempts at compelling everyone to believe as they do, christians go around posting messages quoting Psalm 14:1:

The fool says in his heart, "There is no God."

Apparently, bibliolaters believe that this ad hom settles the matter.


 Atheists shoot back by calling themselves "brights" and insisting that theists are the fools for blindly believing in nonsense.

Ray Comfort
Photo by Carol Scott

This typical and wearisome exchange is exemplified by the fracas between atheist scientist Richard Dawkins and christian evangelist Ray Comfort, who has been so effective in his attacks on atheism that Dawkins was prompted to acknowledge him by calling him "an ignorant fool." In response, Comfort became cloyingly condescending by claiming he was out to save Dawkins's soul.


While making a pretense at being "pious," Comfort arrogantly remarked of the British scientist and unofficial atheist spokesman:

"Now that he's in his 60s, it won't be long until he goes to meet his maker... And I want him to think deeply before he passes into eternity, because he is of worth to God and to me."

The conceit of such a statement is breathtaking: "I want him to think deeply..."


As if Richard Dawkins has not thought deeply, while Ray Comfort has! In actuality, a betting person might see great odds on the former's IQ being significantly higher than the latter.


In any event, Comfort is presuming to know not only that there is a god but also what that god thinks, and these holy thoughts are obviously favorable as concerns Ray Comfort but not as concerns Richard Dawkins.

  • How do we know that God doesn't agree with Dawkins that Ray Comfort is an ignorant fool?

  • What kind of God have Comfort and so many others created in their own minds who is so insecure and ridiculous that he is hurt and angered by Richard Dawkins's unbelief?

  • Why are these devout believers so desperate to have everyone believe as they do?

  • Are they too so insecure in their unfounded beliefs that they must compel others into them, no matter what, including being arrogant, conceited and condescending?

The question comes full circle:

  • Why must we engage in this battle in the first place?

  • Why does anyone care what you do in the privacy of your own mind?

One moment you could think there's a god, and the next, not. So what?


To me, the capacity of the human mind to be able to think deeply about all things in the Cosmos, including there being a god or not being a god, represents the ultimate freethinking perspective.