First I think it’s important that we define terms here. Atheism is disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods, or the doctrine that there is no God or gods [American Heritage Dictionary]. So, I do not assume that atheists deny the existence god(s), I know it. It is evidential fact.
The atheists that worship the evidence against and contradictions of major religions are the worst of the lot. First, they almost always only bother to question one religion; usually Christianity. So Christians are mostly idiots and their Bible is probably a fairytale. What does that prove? It proves that Christians are mostly idiots and their Bible is probably a fairytale. That’s it. Wash, rinse, and repeat with any religion of your choice. Here’s the problem with trying to prove a negative, especially a negative that involves an omnipotent being. You can disprove more religions than you can shake a stick at, and yet at the end of the day you have no empirical evidence that there is no god. You just have a big bag of assumptions. You may have evidence that there is no Judeo-Christian god, there are no Greek gods, no Roman gods, no Hindu gods, no Norse gods, no Zoroastrian whatever the hell they believe in, but you will never have empirical evidence that there is no god(s). It’s impossible (at least until you’re hit by a bus). The science that I have come to know and love holds that, ” The deepest sin against the human mind is to believe in things without evidence.” — Thomas H. Huxley.
Re-regarding the uselessness of your site, tell me, what have you done to help anyone examine their beliefs? Is it in the “Evidence Against” section, where you answer typically vapid questions a Christian might ask? Well, I guess a vapid Christian visiting your site may examine their beliefs while reading this, although introspection isn’t one of the vapid Christian’s better qualities. Evidence of what generally occurs when the vapid Christian does attempt this are found in your hate mail section. Continuing through your site we find a banner ad section. What gems of enlightenment. Oh, you’ll probably want to include myspace codes for those or something, lest your readers get confused. We all know that nobody designs or maintains their own websites these days. Well, at least there’s an FAQ with substantive content like, “Are there any books I should read? Pride and Prejudice is good. I liked War of the Worlds, too. You might try asking your friends or a librarian for suggestions.” Gee, thanks. Hey, what about Catch-22 is that any good? Or maybe Crime and Punishment? What do those books have to do with anything? If you’re going to make a site about atheism, you will probably want to answer that question with a list of books that in any way pertained to the subject matter. To get you started try these fine choices: Mikhail Bakunin, Of God and the State, or Bertrand Russell, Why I Am Not a Christian: And Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects.
And yes, I am an ass. However, I think I’m the only one being rational here. You’ve designed a whole site based around a flawed concept that bashes another flawed concept. That’s the core of my contention here. They have no evidence, you have no evidence, yet everyone has a flaccid opinion to waggle around. I have one more selected work you should probably pass along to your readers, http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/15905. It’s overflowing with reason.
I agree that we should define terms. I also think that, once we agree on a definition, we should actually use it.
The definition you quote begins, “Atheism is disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods.” So far so good. From this you conclude, ” I do not assume that atheists deny the existence god(s), I know it. It is evidential fact.” How can you make this statement when the definition of atheism you chose encompases atheists who disbelieve in gods but do not deny their existence? Did you overlook that very important “or”? There are plenty of atheists who do not rule out the possibility that god exists. I am one of them, and I think my stance is quite reasonable.
You are right that atheists who do nothing but take joy in poking holes in religion are completely unproductive. I am not one of those atheists. I do enjoy arguing against those who use weak arguments to try and disprove my own conclusions, but I feel that there is a difference between defending my beliefs and attacking the beliefs of others.
You make a statement that “Christians are mostly idiots.” I disagree, and am pleased that, later in your note, you agree that you are an ass. At least we don’t have to argue about that.
You are correct that you can’t prove a negative. That’s why I don’t do that.
I agree that the non-correspondence parts of the site — the parts that are nothing but a joke — aren’t going to change anyone’s mind about religious philosophy. However, I am much more straightforward in the correspondence section, and have had many nice letters from people who thank me for helping them examine their own beliefs. For example, many people who assumed that atheists were all intolerant of religion have written to say that they are pleased to find that this is not the case. I am guessing you don’t get a lot of letters like that.
Regarding why I don’t recommend real books, etc. — there are plenty of atheist sites out there that have real rebuttals to anti-atheist arguments and recommend good books. I see no need to overlap with those sites. Instead, I am interested in getting people to share their thoughts on atheism. So far, it seems to be working quite well.
I agree that you are being rational (although I disagree about your being the only rational one in this conversation). Unfortunately, you are also wrong on multiple counts. You are wrong in your apparent assumption that all atheists believe the non-existence of a deity to be proven. You are incorrect in your statements about my intentions. And if you think that your embarrassing badgering will do anything to bring more respect to the beliefs of a brilliant agnostic like Huxley, then you are incorrect about that, too.
Your sarcasm, intolerance, ignorance, and arrogance do nothing to convince others of anything but your own seeming insecurity. It is difficult to weigh the merits of your argument when it is so clogged with what sounds like pompous crap. I’m guessing that you’re an intelligent, well-read individual — why not act like one?