Atheism Expert Austin Cline of atheism.about.com sets out to debunk an alleged myth expounded by religious apologists in his work entitledMyth: Atheists Believe in Lots of Unprovable Things, Like Love and Beauty. Cline proposes that a false claim thrown about by theists is that: “Atheists and other so-called rationalists believe in many things they cherish, but which are unprovable: love, value, beauty, etc.” He suggests this is done as an attempt to establish a false parallel between themselves and atheists when it comes to their “approach to matters of truth”; more specifically, that both Theists and Atheists believe in things that cannot be justified by logic or evidence. Despite his attempts to falsify the claim, the essay ultimately fails to make any cogent argument that would successfully refute the proposed myth.
The well-known Darwinist and author Richard Dawkins is notorious for his emphatic views about religion. Unarguably one the most influential thinkers of the New Atheist movement, the British Biologist has inspired a fresh wave of religious skeptics that keep his various works in their repertoire. Among the ways of his thinking that has been adopted is the notion that religion encourages ignorance. This can be evidenced by his declaration “I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world.” This statement is quite bizarre seeing that it conveys an attitude towards uncertainty that is contrary to what many Atheists seem to believe, as Atheists themselves appear to be fairly comfortable with accepting their own ignorance.
Atheism can be generally understood as the negation or denial of theism. There is therefore no necessity for the atheist to believe no gods exist—only to have reasons for denying their existence. Agnosticism on the other hand, neither asserts or denies the existence of divine beings. More precisely, it can be described as indecision or the suspension of judgment concerning the existence of gods. How then can agnostic atheism be understood?
Scottish philosopher Robert Flint (1838–1910) provides one of the earliest references to the increasingly popular concept in his 1887–1888 Croall Lecture on Agnosticism. Flint, though he dismisses the idea agnosticism is inherently atheistic, acknowledges it may be and often is combined with atheism. An agnostic, believing proof of gods existence to be an impossibility, is consequently also an atheist who does not believe in any gods. Flint draws the following distinction between dogmatic, critical and agnostic atheism:
You may be aware of an unpopular and peculiar Biblical doctrine called the dual seed, serpent’s seed, or Satan’s seed doctrine. Simply put for those who are not acquainted with this concept, it is the teaching that Eve had a sexual encounter with Nachash (the serpent) in Gan Eden. There are variations of beliefs within this teaching, but there are a few fundamental concepts that many proponents of this doctrine would agree on:
Eating the fruit is what one can call a euphemism for fornication. Advocates of this doctrine believe that the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil written about in the second and third chapter of Genesis symbolizes knowledge or realization of sexuality. Eve eating the fruit of the forbidden tree was the writers way of describing fornication with the serpent, who is commonly assumed to represent Satan (Revelation 12:9, 20:2).
Cain was conceived as a result of the intimate encounter between Eve and Nachash. This was how Satan established a physical bloodline on Earth. Some believe that the bloodline of Satan was eliminated completely in the flood, while others say that Satan’s bloodline still lives on today.
This article seeks to determine the validity of this doctrine by reviewing the evidence given in support of its underlying beliefs.