Am I a Fundamentalist? by John Loftus
Since I appear so cocksure of myself that Christianity is a delusion some believers think I'm a fundamentalist on a par with the likes of someone like the late Jerry Falwell. Not so at all!
What I know is that human beings are not all that rational. Psychological studies have proven this. We make many decisions for emotive reasons not logical ones.
Among a myriad number of answers to why we exist it would seem that people who affirm the one and only exclusively correct view of it all are swayed to think this way because of emotive reasons.
And for every such answer the rest of us are skeptics of that answer. So all of us are skeptics, all of us. I join with many many others in rejecting the claims of any specific branch of Christianity (branches which deny that the others are representative of true Christianity).
When I say Christians are deluded I'm not saying anything different than what most others say, even what other branches of Christianity say about each other. I am so sure I am right that they are wrong I'm willing to risk the Christian hell because of it. That's pretty sure. But then just like me, Christians have no difficulty risking the Muslim hell because they reject Islam.
A proverb says, "It's easier to smell a rotten egg than it is to lay a good one."
I'm an egg smeller type of feller. ;-) Christianity is a rotten egg.
Now when you ask me what I think is the case, you'll see that at heart I'm an agnostic, one who, because he is an agnostic simply moves over a step to say there are no supernatural entities, gods or goddesses. How sure am I about what I affirm, that no such entities exist or that some supernatural force pervades the universe? Oh, about 75%. That seems more reasonable or rational to me. This universe and the life forms in it are way too mysterious for me to claim there isn't some sort of "ultimate concern" I should have, or that something may transcend our existence. Maybe the best explanation is that "the whole is greater than the sum of it's parts" and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin is right after all? Although, I don't think so.
Even if a believers can successfully show that our universe began to exist and that it’s consistent with their belief in a creator God, or even if they can defend some of the classical arguments for God’s existence, so what? All they've done is to show that these things are consistent with their faith. But just showing that something is consistent with their faith does not show their faith is probable. For these things are also consistent with a god who created this world as nothing more than a scientific experiment who thinks of us as rats in a maze, wondering what we will conclude about it all and how we will live our lives. Such a belief is consistent with a divine tinkerer who is learning as he goes, who creates one universe after another along with improvements learned from mistakes in the last one. Such a belief is consistent with a god who created the quantum wave fluctuation that produced our universe as his last act before committing suicide. Such a belief is consistent with a creator god who guides the universe ultimately toward an evil purpose, but who has chosen to maliciously present himself as benevolent to play a trick on us. If this trickster god exists then all of the evidence leading believers to conclude a good God exists is planted there to deceive us by such a god. Believers rejects these other god-hypotheses, but why? I can see no reasonable objection to these other god-hypotheses. They are just as possible as their own god-hypothesis. That is why scientists cannot posit theistic explanations for answers to the origin of the universe. For once we allow supernatural explanations into our equations then most any god will do, since there seems to be no way to exclude them.
If there is a supernatural entity then it makes no difference in how I should live my life, how I can discover morality (if it can be discovered), or in how I should investigate something. It is a completely unnecessary hypothesis. Such an entity can be safely ignored. So if nothing else I am a practical atheist (and even a protest atheist), but I think most people are practical atheists anyway.