Atheism and Free Will

I watched the following video on atheism on The Rubin Report. The description of the video is “An atheist isn’t denying that a god or gods exist, an atheist is just asking evidence for such an incredible claim. All this really means is applying the same standard of belief in pretty much anything else you do in your life to the biggest questions of the universe.”

This prompted me to post the following question:

Do you believe that love exists? Do you believe in free will? There is little scientific evidence for either. Do you believe that life has a purpose? If you believe it is reasonable to believe in any of these things, how can you fault others for believing in a higher power?

Another viewer asked me:

In your estimation, would the measurement of hormones in blood or Functional MRI count?

Here’s my reply:

Hormones prove that there is a biological basis for pair bonding, but few would say “my hormones make me want to form a monogamous relationship with you” meant the same thing as “I love you”. PET (positron emission tomography, a very cool thing which I actually worked on in the 80’s) studies have shown that the conscious decision to take an action happens after the body has already taken that action, which hardly supports free will. My point is, there are things (like the experience of love or free will) that most people take on faith as being “real”. A philosopher tries to come at these metaphysical things with reason. A religious person attributes them to god. A nihilist says life has no purpose and we are just biological machines that “think” they love and have free will. Since we don’t live in a theocracy, we get the free choice (or do we?) to pick our poison.

About jimbelton

I'm a software developer, and a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, and I blog about movies, books, and philosophy. My interest in religious philosophy and the search for the truth inspires much of my writing.
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