An Atheist’s Defence of Irrationality

Dr. Isaac Asimov, 1965

Dr. Isaac Asimov, 1965

Raghunath Joshi writes:

Isaac Asimov said ‘I am an emotional atheist. As to the claim that God exists, my suspicion is so strong that I don’t want to waste my limited time believing/acting on it’. Even though I am an atheist, I can appreciate religion when ever it results in kindness honesty and courage, like the writer Kurt Vonnegut when he says ‘Believe in all harmless untruths if it makes you kind, happier and more truthful’.

In all of the arguments that we, atheists make against religion, the underlying thread is ‘logic’. The problem with using logic is that we HAVE to stop it at one point in the line of argument. It is so because logic can’t create a meaning of one’s life. It can only help us derive a moral structure from a fundamental premise such as ‘compassion towards’ / ‘happiness of’ / ‘freedom of’ all living creatures. Logic is therefore a tool to screen out arguments that defend those beliefs which are at clash with the above said premises of compassion and freedom.

For example, banning and/or ostracising homosexuality because of one’s religious beliefs cannot be moral because, there is a contradiction between those “beliefs” and the basic values of “compassion towards differently born human beings” and their “freedom of life” as long as no one else’s freedom are sacrificed (like forced sodomy).

On the other hand, think of how daunting, a task of creating a “one-size-fit-all theory of life universe and everything” actually is. If you haven’t noticed yet, there is NOT a single philosophical view point of life that is immune from logical fallibility.

The notion of ‘Lets create some meaning of our tiny insignificant lives by devoting time to cultivating deep passions and decreasing the suffering of those around us’ is a pretty good ‘subjective’ basis to live life. But at the end, it still is subjective.

Actually there is one view point that is immune from fallibility – Nihilism1. It is true! There is no logical argument that can be thrown at a nihilist (Eg. ‘Joker’ from the ‘The Dark Knight’) that will convince him that there is an ‘inherent’ value in human life and that it is relevant in scale of the universe.

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13 Comments on "An Atheist’s Defence of Irrationality"

  1. Simon Valentine | Jul 18, 2014 at 6:19 pm |

    is this a “for each disobedience hound chomping at the bit there is a C3PO about to get shut the fuck down”, or isn’t it not limbo? wisp sprites circulating around a polyform likes eyes on Lara Croft’s chest performing every stress test as a Jedi meditating force best left to a ship battling at Malachor Five for behest of a rest crest predicting its west jest nest next to Jackson?

    “meaning of life stuff”
    “so, like, i have grievous put a sword through you and it’s done, right, obi?”

  2. mannyfurious | Jul 18, 2014 at 8:37 pm |

    These people are so sure of their own intellectual superiority they never fail to see the gaping holes in their “logic.” The reason you can’t depend on logic is because any piece of logic is sound and valid from certain perspectives. No logistical argument is true from all perspectives, and that’s why argument rarely changes people’s minds. Nihilism has nothing to do with anything. It’s irrelevant whether the life-cycle of microbes has “meaning” or not. Such a question barely makes sense and the answer doesn’t solve anything whatsoever. He’s asking the wrong questions.

    • Simon Valentine | Jul 19, 2014 at 9:57 am |

      Horus sometimes seen wearing the headdress of Amun, no?

      a rat breaking out of a logical domain into a heard of bulls
      not a new story
      and thus wrong it could be
      if it was seen
      by entity not you or me
      physics is nothing and logic
      we’re hair-line fractures in the butt crack of a physical inequality
      false dichotomy

  3. logic is a boat
    that floats down the river
    the river
    is The Irrational
    hope you float forever

  4. I’ve noticed atheists (a type of true believer) and some religious true believers are very defensive and seem to need to regularly hammer their point. Why not just believe what you believe with out having to try to sell others on it?

    “My mind is made up, and now I want to make yours up too.”

  5. Jim McGowan | Jul 19, 2014 at 2:28 am |

    No mention of Natural Law, a philosophical concept which predates all religion and provides the framework for the moral aspects which were a basic premise of all religious control systems, like the commandments, etc.

  6. Jim McGowan | Jul 19, 2014 at 2:34 am |

    HCE, it’s a requirement of all religions that its adherents ram its message down the throat of everyone else. Hence why, for example, the Conquistadors forced Christianity on the indigenous peoples of South America, and why an army of ‘missionaries’ has, over time, interfered with the lives and beliefs of so many all over the world by converting them from the Paganism they knew to the new Roman take on religion.

  7. kowalityjesus | Jul 20, 2014 at 8:04 pm |

    How dare this article assume that belief in a God is irrational? It isn’t for some people.

    • Might atheism, agnosticism, or dystheism also be rational for some people?

      • kowalityjesus | Jul 21, 2014 at 8:56 am |

        yes, although I would have to be awfully disrespectful and unobservant in order for any of those philosophies to take hold, from my perspective.

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