Thursday, September 13, 2012

Believe In Nothing

I have written a little on this topic before.  When the religious accuse non-believers of believing in nothing, they are essentially equating atheism with nihilism, which is a mistake.  Pointing that out, however, often will not do the trick because the point is too cerebral.  A reply with punch is needed.  Therefore I suggest the following:

"I believe in reality; you are the one who believes in nothing."

If clarification is needed, one can add:

"Your god is nothing--a mere figment of your imagination."

You can also say, either after the first suggestion above or after the second:

"I believe I know the difference between atheism and nihilism and you don't."

By pointing out the believer's obvious ignorance, this last suggestion has the benefit of adding emotional force to an otherwise entirely intellectual point.  As I have pointed out before, such emotional force is a necessary component when arguing with religious people because, for them, the emotional motivation behind a person's words is much more important than the actual meaning of the words themselves.

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