Human beings are community creatures. They prefer to maintain a close connection with one another. In doing so, their paradigms – the way they think about things – evolve in a collective manner. They like to think about things in, more or less, the same way as their fellow human being. This is a powerful mechanism that forms the foundation for cultures and improves the ability of the human race to survive as a whole in the long run.
However, the prevailing paradigm needs to remain on a healthy track to avoid self-destruction. Some notions that enter and propagate through it, could ultimately be detrimental to the long term survival of the human race. Normally, dangerous notions are removed from paradigms, because the damage they do is revealed to the community at large. However, such damaging notions can, on occation, survive. When they do and became too wide spread, it becomes harder to convince humanity of the danger.
Scientistic ateism is such a dangerous notion that has been able to use delusion, deception and deceit to propagate itself through the current paradigm. Although there have been numerous individuals that attempted to reveal its true nature to the world, this deception still strides forth in the minds of many people.
What is atheism?
A theist is a person that believes in the existence of a God. An agnostic is a person that doesn’t know what to believe and therefore doesn’t believe anything. An atheist is a person that believes that there is no God. Note the difference between an agnostic and an atheist. While an agnostic doesn’t believe anything, an atheist has a definite believe. In that sense a theist and an atheist share the fact that they both believe in something.
What is scientistic atheism?
A scientistic atheist is a person that, not only believes that there is no God, but also believes that this conviction is founded in science. Therein lies the delusion, for this is not true. Yet such a person would often mislead other people by claiming that science supports their convictions. Therein lies the deception. Some atheists may actually be aware of the fact that the latter believe is not true, but they vocally maintain the deception that their atheist believes are confirmed by science. Therein lies the deceit.
The word `scientistic’ and the word `scientific’ sound similar, but they are not the same. To understand what the word `scientistic’ means, we first need to understand what the word `scientific’ means. Knowledge is said to be scientific knowledge when the scientific method has been followed to obtain the knowledge.
What is the scientific method?
The scientific method is a process whereby theoretical predictions are tested through experimental observations. Typically, one first comes up with a hypothesis or a theory, which is then used to make predictions that can be tested. One then performs an experiment to see whether these predictions agree with what happens in the physical world. If the experimental observations agree with the predictions, we gain confidence in the theory and it is considered to be reliable. If the experimental observations disagree with the predictions, the theory is rejected.
There are a number of requirements for knowledge to be considered as being scientific. A scientific theory needs to be testable. In particular, it must be such that it could in principle be shown to be false. Theories that can never in principle be shown to be false are not very useful, because then we can never be sure they are true.
Scientific experiments also need to be repeatable. Anyone should in principle be able to redo the experiment and get the same results. If the experiment cannot be repeated, then how can we be sure that the original experiment was done correctly?
These properties – falsifiability and repeatablility – are but two of the restrictions that one needs to impose on knowledge to ensure that it is scientific.
There are unfortunately certain categories of knowledge that can in principle not obey these restrictions and can therefore never be considered as scientific knowledge. Examples are historic events, which are by their very nature not repeatable. As an example, when one comes up with a theory of how the moon was formed, the theory itself can be based on scientifically testable mechanisms, but whether or not the moon was in actual fact formed in this way is not testable and is not, and can never be, a scientific statement.
The same is true about biological evolution. Although the individual mechanisms that play a role in evolution can be tested in a scientific manner, any statement that a particular species evolved in this way from another species, can never be tested and is therefore not a scientific statement.
Other example of things that look like science, but is not science, include:\ (a) the notion of parallel universes, (b) what happens beyond an event horizon and (c) what happened before the big bang. These are examples of things that we can in principle never test and which for that reason are not falsifiable. Although these things could be cast in a mathematical theoretical language that looks like science or they are being researched by people that are regarded as scientists, this kind of knowledge is nevertheless non-scientific.
Now we can say what the term `scientistic’ means. When something is cast in a form that looks like science, but does not obey the requirements of the scientific method, then we refer to it as being scientistic. In particular, if one bases one’s believes on something that looks like science, but doesn’t obey the requirements of science, then those believes are called scientistic believes.
A scientistic atheist is a person that base its belief that there is no God on information that looks like science, but doesn’t adhere to the requirements of the scientific method.
There is no such thing as a `scientific atheist,’ because there is no scientific knowledge that supports the believe that there is no God. At the same time, there is also no `scientific theist,’ because there is also no scientific knowledge in support of the existence of God. One’s believe that God does or does not exist is never founded in science. It is a matter of choice, which may have been inspired by some arguments that may be based on our scientific knowledge, but the choice can never be forced by scientific facts. The atheist may look at the universe and see `evidence’ for his believe that God does not exist. The theist may look at the universe and see `evidence’ for her believe that God does exist. Both these observations are colored by their pre-scientific convictions.
Generally, a theist does not base his convictions on anything external, such as scientific knowledge. The basis for a theist’s convictions is faith itself. In that sense, these convictions are consistent and not deceptive. On the other hand, the convictions of a scientistic atheist are based on a lie, one that the atheist may or may not be aware of. Either way, these convitions are inconsistent and essentially deceptive. Moreover, the atheist does not have the option to base her convictions on faith alone, because that would contradict the very notion of what the atheist believes.
So, in conclusion, although both the theist and the atheist lack scientific support for their convictions, the theist is in a much better situation, because scientific support is not require for theistic believes, whereas atheistic believes do required some form of external support, such as scientific knowledge. The atheist must therefore employs delusion, deception and even deceit to propagate its dangerous and destructive convictions.