I just read this ridiculous article where atheists are not only falsely vilified for the age old religious charge of “lacking” the capacity for faith, but we’re essentially compared to psychopaths and sociopaths. I’ve tried to address this “lacking” issue before, but religious arguments never die no matter how much you dismantle them. Much like their religious belief itself, the religious, or I should say the faith indulgers, cling desperately to the belief that these arguments are valid and what they argue is true. It’s sad and almost worthy of pity if not for the real harm that results from their faith indulgence and what they’ll do to both keep indulging and make that indulgence respectable. In response to the article…
Faith has nothing to do with love or empathy. Faith is a decision to believe something either without evidence or in spite of contrary evidence. Perhaps what you meant to say is you have difficulty understanding love or empathy, much like how many religious people have difficulty understanding things like evolution, so you base your opinions of such things on faith. It’s unfortunately a common human trait to rely on faith in the face of ignorance, however making no effort to address such ignorance, in other words to be willfully ignorant, is something that I’d call “fundamentally wrong”.
I suggest you cease being willfully ignorant and actually educate yourself about such things as empathy, social interaction, and of course atheism because to simply declare “I have an idea” and subsequently misrepresent and insult atheists based on your imagination of what’s what is both ridiculous and embarrassing. Atheism is not some faith based or personal choice like preferring red or blue, it is (for most) a logical, rational response to claims that a god or gods exist. Such claims, as you admit, are faith based and faith is not a path to knowledge. Faith is an indulgence, a personal choice to indulge in a belief that’s unwarranted.
This suggestion that atheists “lack” the capacity to feel faith is like saying most people lack the blood lust of a serial killer. How could we claim we understand a serial killer’s motivations if we have “no innate capacity to feel it”? Likewise, I wouldn’t say I “lack” the “innate capacity to feel” the pleasure of addiction to alcohol, nicotine, gambling, or a host of other things. In short, what I’m saying is the predilection to indulge in faith is not a superior characteristic, it’s one that humans should be embarrassed to admit they indulge in. I’m quite happy that I don’t feel drawn to such an indulgence. I’m not lacking faith, or the capacity to believe things on faith. It’s the faith indulger who is lacking the capacity to resist the temptation of faith. The faith indulger lacks the capacity to understand things, or at least lacks the desire to study and investigate things and instead lazily indulges in faith to form an opinion or belief about a given subject.
Unlike your claim that atheists hopelessly lack a capacity you value, I’d say faith indulgers don’t hopelessly lack the capacity for rationalism. I base such an opinion on the fact that they rely on rationalism, on observation and evidence, to form the majority of their daily decisions. For instance, even the most religious person doesn’t close their eyes and rely on faith to decide when it’s safe to cross the street. The capacity is there, yet they cheat to varying degrees here and there and indulge in faith.
The desire to indulge is no doubt innate as I think it’s very human to want to expend as little energy as possible, and indulging in faith is far easier than either trying to educate yourself or to accept that an answer may not be, or never will be available. That, however, neither excuses nor validates indulging in faith, and it certainly doesn’t make those who resist such an indulgence “lacking”.