Debunking Loftus: No Hope that Atheism Will Win

Implicit and explicit atheism
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I want to follow up on this post by Loftus (see my first one here). His third point is that Atheism doesn’t offer the carrot at the end of the stick which religions do.

3) Atheism can’t win because it offers no eternal hope. It offers no hope to live forever in a blissful heaven with a loving all-powerful eternal God, which ultimately means that our life has no eternal significance. It offers no hope to ever see dead loved ones. It offers no hope that there is some supernatural being outside this world who can help us when we’re in need as we pray. When I see that picture of Jesus welcoming a pilgrim into heaven I know atheism cannot compete since there is nothing we can offer to replace that wishful hope.

The issue here is that Loftus is forgetting much of the world’s religions and history of such things. As a matter of fact, Liberal Christians may not even believe in the after-life today. Not counting the earth religions or other non-after-life religions, early Judaism was real foggy to black on the issue of the after-life. I have to wonder if John has ever read Ecclesiastes?

The argument against believers and religion doesn’t fail because religion offers an escape-clause; it fails for so many other reasons.

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5 Replies to “Debunking Loftus: No Hope that Atheism Will Win”

  1. Actually, atheism does offer a carrot at the end of the stick. Some atheists and humanists I know believe once we get rid of religion, we will all live in this utopia of prosperity. Utopian thinking, inherently stick and carrot.

  2. Wait a minute! The question is why atheism can’t win against theists, not whether other religions have disputes and/or share the same views.


    Atheism is the apple. All the rest of you can be oranges.

  3. The ambiguity of after-life related issues in the earliest bits of our tradition is also an argument against the storyline according to which religion emerged as an answer to “What happens when we die?”

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