In the video below, Gary Stearman, the CEO and host of Prophecy Watchers, offers a long rant on atheism… that begins with a comment that makes no sense.
Stearman says this in the first few seconds:
Atheists have always puzzled me. One of my favorite statements is, “If there were no God, you could not be an atheist.” Because the word “atheist” means “without God”… Which is to say that if there were no God, if there had been no God from time immemorial, you wouldn’t even know about God. The concept of God would be alien to you, therefore you couldn’t be an atheist…
So… if we say something doesn’t exist, it’s proof that the thing has to exist? (Someone tell the a-unicornists!)
Stearman does it again around the 5:10 mark:
Look: Atheists don’t believe there’s any evidence for God. The only reason we use the word is because so many people think otherwise, and it serves a purpose to identify ourselves separately.
… atheism is not a passive occupation. It’s an active occupation. And to be active, you’ve got to be against something, therefore I think atheism is a rejection of what atheists intrinsically know to be true. As I said earlier, if there were no God, you couldn’t be an atheist. You have to be against something, and atheists are against God.
Atheism has less to do with the existence of God and more to do with the existence of God’s followers. If believers didn’t exist in huge numbers, we wouldn’t need a word to distinguish ourselves from them.
It’s the same reason we don’t need the word a-leprechaunists. If people ever began believing in the creatures, and the word became necessary, Stearman would say that’s proof leprechauns are real. It’s ridiculous.
What’s strange about the clip is how damn smug he looks when she brings this up, as if he’s pointed out something everybody else missed.
We didn’t miss it. We just know better than to accept that faulty reasoning.
(Thanks to Kyle for the link)