Why You and I Can’t Understand Atheists

This is from an article I found online that elucidated the atheist perspective a lot for me: https://atheism-analyzed.blogspot.com/2010/11/why-you-and-i-cant-understand-atheists.html

It is very common to come away from a conversation with an Atheist scratching one’s head and wondering, “Why doesn’t he understand what I’m saying?” , or, “have I completely lost my ability to communicate?”. It seems to reflect deeply into our own view of reality that such a creature as we have just encountered can exist and find his way through a world too rational for him to comprehend.

I recently commented elsewhere on a pertinent article that I found, written by an Atheist concerning the ethics of Atheism. The article is both clearly written and is a fair and definitive statement of how Atheists think about transcendentals such as ethics. And how they think in general. After spending considerable energy degrading Christianity, the author finally gets to “the Atheist Foundation of Ethics”, which he calls, “Consequentialist” ethics. Here is an excerpt that will help show the thought process:
"An objective ethic is a consequentialist ethic that has an ultimate goal that is objectively measurable. It then becomes an objective question whether a particular recommended means will in fact lead to that goal, whether another means might be more effective. The statement "If you want X then you ought to do Y" becomes a statement about cause-and-effect relationships that is objectively true or false, and can be investigated by scientific procedures.

What about the choice of your ultimate goal, your ultimate value that you are pursuing? Can we say that some goal is "better" than others, and deserves to be adopted by everyone? I think there is one that we can predict will be widely popular, because it is favored by natural selection. But there is no logical or cosmic necessity that it be adopted by everyone.

There is a built-in "default" goal of biological life, genetic reproductive success, also called "inclusive fitness" by biologists."


There is more in the article; by all means read the whole thing if you are inclined. But this snippet is representative and indicative. The relationship is this, that the end determines the means. The first consideration is the goal (a common procedure), followed by the tactics needed to achieve that goal (another common procedure). But the author calls this an ethic. Ordinarily one might consider this to be a project management technique, to define a goal, then to set up tactics to achieve it. But not an ethic. An ethic would be a defined basis for judging which goal is right and which goal is wrong. So the term "consequentialist" apparently means that the consequence outweighs the tactics, not that the consequence has any moral value. The ethic then is without moral value.

The Atheist assumption here is that (a) there is no absolute right or wrong; (b) the goal is neither right nor wrong; (c) any means that successfully progress efficiently toward the achievement of the goal are acceptable.

Aside from this ethic encompassing the fundamentals of totalitarianism, it serves to illuminate the entire thought process used by Atheists in general. We can see clearly that the proposed ethic states that the conclusion is the imperative, and that the supporting elements (premises) are secondary and are to be selected for their ability to support the conclusion. This is classical definition of rationalization(1), the opposition to rationality.

If one is habituated to the defect of rationalization, the inverted procedure becomes transparent to him. It seems natural to believe a conclusion and then seek out the arguments that support it (with total disregard to the logic of the arguments). And it seems natural to reject and deny any arguments that do not support the conclusion (again with total disregard to the logic of the arguments).

In fact denialism is pathological in the rationale of Atheism. It is really the only defense against first principles based, transcendent logic. Such absolutist logic can only be denied, not disproved, and this is just what Nietzsche did in his support of Athesim. But most Atheists don't delve that deeply into the philosophy of their own beliefs, because there is no need to examine a personal truth construct for validity if one actually believes it.

The inversion in logic is transparent to the rationalization-afflicted, if they refuse to consider the use of first principle based, absolute, transcendent logic. In fact the inversion goes to the extent of inverting the meanings of the fallacies in order to support their conclusions.

This logical inversion is fatal to any conversation with an Atheist which tries to hinge on first principle based logic. Denial in the face of clear logic is the Atheist’s approach to argumentation. This is then turned into rebuttal in kind: tu Quoque, and followed with another denial that it has been done. If the non-Atheist quits in the frustration of arguing in a non-rational environment, the Atheist declares victory.

But there is more to the story than how the inversion happens. There is the why. Why is there a necessity for rationalization and denial of fallacy in the worldview of Atheism? It is necessary because the conclusion is more important to the atheist than the process that is used to derive it. In other words, the truth-finding process is not deemed necessary when the truth of the conclusion is pre-defined. Atheists have created their own truth. They must defend it at all cost. They cannot admit to fallacies because to do so would threaten the validity of their own personal truth construct.

Loss of the atheist’s truth construct can be a serious, even traumatic, event. It means that he must be exposed to external moral authority outside his own ethical story; it means that there becomes necessity for intellectual discipline, which is required when one seeks truth rather than inventing it; it means that it becomes necessary to value humility over elitism.

The loss of these aspects of the Atheist’s self-image is too devastating for many to consider. And so for some of them it becomes necessary to argue one’s viewpoint incessantly just to keep justifying it over and over. Why else would a person “without a belief” argue it so persistently and passionately? Only the need for self-justification could answer that drive.

Why You and I Can’t Understand Atheists

I have previously outlined the several causes that seem to lead to Atheism. The need to preserve the worldview-cocoon and safety from external moral authority is strong. But the loss of truth-finding ability is exacerbated by the artificial truth-manufacturing that is needed to support the cocoon.

And it is their truth manufacturing that makes the Atheists impossible to understand for those of us who seek the truth by rejecting conclusions that are not based on fallacy-free premises. The logic systems are too different to allow communication to flow between parties with the transfer of meaning unencumbered by inversion.

Even as an Atheist myself for 40 years, I found it difficult to see the logic behind much of what other Atheists held to be true. But I finally decided to actually seek truth, rather than pack delusions around a preconception, no matter how valued the preconception.

Sometimes I try to communicate with one. But it is always the same, rebuttal by denial of the obvious, inability to connect on a rational basis. Empirically speaking, it’s a proven waste of time.

I think the line: "Denial in the face of clear logic is the Atheist’s approach to argumentation." Sums up the atheist perspective.


Most Helpful Girl

  • I understand Atheists perfectly. They lack a belief in a deity. That's all there is to know. They are regular people. Some of them have fanatical beliefs and some don't care what you believe in (some don't care unless if it harms people).

    Some of them want religion to be eradicated from this Earth (I've met a few of these illogical beings) and some believe we can coexist, non/religious alike.

    Some won't bash religion while some will. Some won't start an argument about it while others are only too happy too.

    You get my drift? They are JUST LIKE the many varieties of religious people except one difference: they lack a belief in a deity.

    Your Take is clearly biased and generalizes all into one group when not all of them are like that.


Most Helpful Guy

  • The funny thing is that EVERY religious person knows what it feels like to be an atheist towards EVERY SINGLE GOD THAT HAS EVER BEEN WORSHIPPED besides their own. Just like you aren't convinced that the Hindu gods are real due to what I assume is lack of evidence, most atheists feel the same way about your god. That is really all there is to it from the most simplest of definitions..


    What is also completely insane to me is that for some reason many religious people try to understand what atheists are about just from listening to OTHER religious people talk about them instead of going directly to the source or having a pleasant conversation with one or preferable many (it's better to have as many sources as possible right?). I really have no other explanation for the kind of behavior you see from the 'atheist' characters in movies like God's Not Dead. They're always painted as totally morally bankrupt and savage people who are only trying to fill up that "god shaped hole" with material possessions.

    It's so funny to me that it's usually the religious people who claimed to be atheists at one time who so clearly misrepresent simple aspects of being an atheist.


Join the discussion

What Girls Said 6

  • i dont understand why its so hard for people to grasp the idea of atheism. atheists dont believe in religion (god, gods, deities etc.). its very simple actually. they may all have different reasons as to why they are atheists but the idea is basically the same. honestly, articles (like the one you used) are something i dont really like. im atheist because i dont believe in god and i like the fact that there is no bible or book or any "guidelines". i think its great because you're not stuck on some book or a set of beliefs. you can do whatever you want and have whatever morals you want.

  • You make me sound so complicated. I'm an atheist. I reject all gods. I live a normal life otherwise without hurting myself or others. I am really at a loss with how much of that is misconstrued being so simple.

    And if you were an atheist for 40 years, why are you 33? Not to sound nitpicky, but it was just something I noticed. I pay attention to detail like that because it looks like fact to me.

  • I see no problem with your curiosity with atheists. When I don't understand something I go and research it as well. Nothing wrong with it. Some of the greatest discoveries were a result of obsession into figuring"it" out.

  • The opposite of "atheist" is "theist" or "deist," just FYI.

  • why are you so fascinated with atheists?

  • Maybe you don't understand atheists cause your religious thoughts have already completely obliterated your rational thoughts.
    Farewell, my friend; this kind of obsession is not healthy, you should seek medical assistance for your little mental problem.


What Guys Said 8

  • 27.media.tumblr.com/...lndaet6ijZ1qf4poao1_500.jpg

    Seriously, that's all there's to it.

    (Don't you ever get tired of attacking atheists?)

    • yet there's this whole "we don't know" that makes both atheists and religious people pissed as hell.
      Because i can tell you "prove it, prove to me there's no god" and 9 of 10 atheists will go batshit crazy. But none of them can prove it.
      Then i can tell a christian "prove it, prove to me there's a god" and 9 of 10 christians will go batshit crazy. But none of them can prove it.

      That is why i love being an agnostic. Someone who believes that you can't prove any of the sides right. There may be a god, or there may not be. I don't know. And honestly, i fucking love playing the devil's advocate. Because by using the undeniable truth to piss both sides off, i show them how weak their claims to the truth are.
      Because in the end, the only truth we have is "we don't know, and we can't prove anything".

    • Show All
    • @kobe23 do you have a problem with empathy and laws?

    • No. But apparently you do.

  • I didn't read this take apart from the last part where you said 'Denial in the face of clear logic is the Atheist’s approach to argumentation" and I just had to lol because that right there is literally the most ironic thing I've ever read in my whole entire life. Please don't give your opinin on anything ever again. Thanks.

  • Here in Belgium max. 5% of the population goes to church.
    We do, however, have the important aspects of moral that religious people have as well: care for others, respect each other, form a helping community when some are in trouble.
    I think that as soon as people don't have that sort of moral, that's a big problem. The fact is they believe in a God, either as a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu or another believe, can help to realize that. But the most important thing is that we all respect each other. No matter what religion we have or haven't.

  • There is no atheist perspective other than a lack of belief in God. That is all being an atheist means beyond that being an atheist has no rule book. Our moral codes vary from person to person.

  • Hey! I enjoyed your article, well some of it. I honestly didn't completely understand it. I'm an atheist myself, I'd just like to make that clear when you approach me.

    I took note of some things that might help support your claim, how quality can't definitively be measured in quantity, how an unbiased opinion is an oxymoron, yada yada, but I'm not personally interested by the end of the article.

    The second part of your article became a bit more complex, it speaks of inverted logic, transcendent logic. This lead me to google stuff on the topic of presuppositional apologetics. Do you think you could help me understand the topic better? Is it even related to what you wrote?

  • Internet atheists convinced me to turn my life over to Jesus and follow God.

  • You're literally obsessed with this atheism thing.

  • This was a good read/mytake and I appreciate you taking the time to put it together.

    However, if you believe that 'Denial in the face of clear logic is the Atheist’s approach to argumentation.' sums up the atheist perspective, then you are mistaken. An atheist doesn't believe in God, that is all. Both people that believe and disbelieve in God are going of logic they both believe is correct, and they both believe the other persons logic is incorrect.

    To sum it up a better way, the arguments used here aren't unique to atheism, a lot if not all of them can be used by atheists against theists. Still a good viewpoint though, thank you for sharing! :)