Tag Archives: Philosophy

Diversity of Religion & “Other Religions are Corrupted” Response

The vast numbers of different religions and denominations (parodied here) in the world is possibly the strongest reason to deny any and all religions with any sort of interventionist, personal, or judgment-dealing God.

Deluded Christians and Muslims commonly skirt this accusation by rationalizing that other religions are corrupted by man or “the devil.” However, there is a terrific atheist response to this claim.

A Conversation

Atheist: “Can you explain the diversity of religion in the world?”

Theist: “The devil has caused corruption of the true religion.”

Atheist: “Then I have two challenges for you.

“One: How do you know your religion is correct? Couldn’t it be corrupted in the same way as you claim countless other peoples’ religion is corrupted? Don’t other believers of other religions have the same response to this question that you do?

“Two: Christians, Jews and Muslims pray to the same god, the Abraham’s god Yahweh. If God answers prayer or guides human understanding in any way, should we not expect God to consistently guide understanding for all these earnest believers, resulting in a mass conversion to the ‘correct’ religion and even denomination?”

This is the response that is so very strong. At this point there is nothing the theist apologist can say that holds up to reason without contradicting basic tenets of their religion. For example, saying that God does not actually shape human understanding is to deny all authority of the Pope, pastors, rabbis, imams, and ayatollahs and is more of a deist belief than a theist one; it also contradicts the idea that God plants faith in the hearts/minds of humans, which leads us to science and atheism. No matter the response, it is impossible for a God who is all-loving and all-powerful who cares about orthodoxy (right belief) to ignore the earnest prayers from confused beliefs whose “corrupted beliefs” may earn for them eternal damnation. It may also be pointed out that the theist will rationalize a response to fit the facts everyone knows are true about the variation of belief, despite the way their own beliefs should predict that most of the world (if not all) would have the same religious beliefs they do!

Personal anecdote

The day I came to terms with my budding atheism was the day I voiced my doubts of Christianity to a professor, asking for a bit of guidance. I will never forget the professor’s response. He said something to the effect of, “We should not worry too much about believing the right thing. People have so many different religious beliefs that, if there is a God, He is almost certainly nothing like what you have been told.”

Perhaps the argument discussed in this article is not so strong for everyone, but I found it extremely convincing.

Let me know what you think.

Atheist Catchphrases

A well-known sentence or phrase.

Theists have catchphrases. So do atheists.

The difference, I would argue, is that theist catchphrases are meant to limit thinking and/or reinforce orthodoxy; atheist catchphrases typically have the opposite effect.

Authorized or generally accepted theory, doctrine, or practice.

I think my claim can be demonstrated in two ways: philosophically and by examining representative catchphrases (hopefully selected at random).


There is no such thing as atheist orthodoxy or dogma, by definition, as we all know atheism is simply the rejection of a theism’s revealed gods and religions. Atheism requires no leaders, books, or even thoughts to exist, as it is the default state, the lack of certain beliefs.

Of course, most (but not all) of the atheist community embraces rational, scientific inquiry. We also place value on such an approach to belief; I would personally go so far as to call doubt a virtue.

Without orthodoxy, an atheist catchphrase that reinforces dogma is a contradiction of terms.

By Example: Christian refrains

“It’s God’s plan.” / Mystery

Don’t worry (think) about it; it’s not for mortals to control or even understand. Sometimes this is even used to cover up contradictions inherent in belief.

God/Jesus loves you.


Sins / “Died for you” / Sacrifice

Instill a sense of guilt and create an obligation/debt; thinking doubtful thoughts is thus ungrateful. (Thus, reason is cut off and dogma is enforced.)

“Pray for understanding”

On the surface, it sounds like a call for reason. But then why include prayer? Because the only response to prayer is imagined — “pray for understanding” really means “go rationalize this or ascribe it to God’s plan.”

“Think with your heart, not your mind”

Don’t think at all. Let us guilt you into belief.

By Example: Atheist catchphrases

“Correlation is not causation”

Encourages reasoning: Is there evidence of an ultimate cause? What other ways might trends be related? Could the causation in fact be the opposite of the assumed or wished direction?

Proof / “Do they have stats on that?”

Challenges assumptions.


Leads to greater understanding, enabling better (informed) reasoning.


Used to refer to “Intelligent Design” or creationist proponents. This is one case where it actually makes it easy to dismiss opposing beliefs out-of-hand. Personally, I think we should avoid such language if possible. And yet, the scorn comes from what we perceive as the “IDiot’s” inability to see facts and reason with them, so there is still very much a sense of valuing science and reason over assumptions and faith.


Admittedly a lot of the atheist catchphrases are not specifically atheist in nature, but heard often within the community as a result of the scientific inquiry process which can often lead to atheist beliefs.

Fair enough?

Please let me know if I am being unfair, if I have missed anything, or if there are atheist catchphrases that do dead-end reasoning (I’m sure there out there).

On Truth: the Tyranny of Illusion (by Stefan Molyneux)

I cannot encourage you to read On Truth: the Tyranny of Illusion by Stefan Molyneux enough. It’s a free online “book” that takes an hour or so to get through. (Consider reading it with Readable.)


The topics of this philosophical “book” range include love, abuse, parents, authority, religion, maturity, and honesty.

If nothing else, it is a thought-provoking read.


Fantasy and irony:

I said: “Mom, I feel that you don’t listen to me.”

My mother replied: “Don’t be silly — of course I listen to you!”


The essence of wisdom is learning the value of “staying in the conversation,” even when it makes you uncomfortable.

Especially when it makes you uncomfortable.

Morality and authority:

When I was six, I was sent to an English boarding school. One of the rules there was that I was had to wear garters around my socks to keep them up, especially in church. I was told in no uncertain terms that if I entered the church without my garters on, I was being “disrespectful to God.” This didn’t make much sense to me; I argued that God made my legs, and men made garters, and I was sure that God would appreciate looking at his own creation rather than something that men made.

Naturally, my objections were also framed as immoral talkback – I was being “disrespectful” to the headmaster.

Consider adding other good quotes in the comments below.

Truth and the Tyranny of Illusion