Click on the image for a larger version:
(via The New Atheist)
I picture atheism more as a whole bunch of cats, let loose in an open field… No way of predicting any specific cat’s position or mood at any time NOW, let alone ten minutes ago.
Not quite an equivalent comparison though. Atheism deals only with one belief. Christianity is a whole set of beliefs. If you isolate the belief in theism out of the total set of Christian beliefs, there’s not nearly as much variation among the different streams of the Christian tradition.
There needs to be another line for scientology.
While Iove the pic, I would never consider the two equivalent explanations. Atheism doesnt offer an explanation for anything. it is a disbelief in theism because there is no evidence in favor of it. Science on the other hand has the capability of offering explanations for things that religion pretends to explain.
why? Scientology is not a Christian sect. It’s completely unrelated.
Or did you mean “Christian Science”? That would probably fall under either the “Restorationism” or “Protestantism” branches.
Yeah, atheism isn’t an explanation or a theory, it’s just a label for disagreeing with various god talk. So I’m not sure Occam’s Razor would apply in this case.
But there are atheists (check out the American Atheists web page) who like to capitalize “Atheism” and call it a “doctrine”. I even hesitate to go as far as calling it a world view. Although most atheists do share a somewhat related naturalistic world view, there is usually quite a divergence in other fields like politics and so on. I’ve met fanatical libertarian atheists, hippie atheists, UFO believing atheists, and 9/11 conspiracy maniac atheists. It’s really hard for me to say we all share the same world view.
As for Occam’s Razor it can be applied to religious claims themselves. Which is why I often tell Christians if they every get as far as convincing me an omnimax god exists I’m going to convert to Islam first (Or Judaism I guess) since Occam’s Razor would favor those truly monotheistic ideas over the triune Christian god.
Wow, guys, it’s a joke. No need to take it all so seriously. I myself found it freakin hilarious.
Able-X, I’ve seen funny pictures along these lines, but I’m going to agree with the others in that it’s not a great comparison. Saying “early atheism” is like “modern atheism” is akin to saying that starving to death 1000 years ago is like starving to death today.
(Not that I’m saying atheism is life-threatening. Not a great analogy, but you get the point.)
This comparison is not so good, but the separation of the various streams (East, West, and heterodox/unorthodox do have to do with theism–they separated over theology per se, the nature of God.
Joke or not, it really is an odd picture. The atheism of, say, the Epicureans is different than the atheism in the modern West, let alone all those Buddhist atheists, Marxist atheists, 18th century European atheists etc., etc.
It would make a lot more sense to have the top picture say something along the lines of “early theism ============= modern theism”
Keeping in mind that this is not meant to be a serious poster, I’d like to point out that it’s a misuse of Occam’s razor. Occam’s razor is meant to be used to compare one explanation with another. Here, we’re comparing one explanation with a whole set of other explanations. Furthermore, Occam’s razor has nothing to do with the history of ideas, but with the ideas themselves.