Let’s shred this popular theist meme today. Here’s some fuel for the next time you see this garbage.
A strawman fallacy occurs when someone creates an extreme or exaggerated assertion and then argues against it, which is what this meme has done. The theist dishonestly portrayed the atheist argument as “I don’t believe in things I can’t see.” Atheists don’t believe in a god because of the lack of evidence, not because we can’t see it. In fact, I recently asked the atheist-only community Atheism United why they don’t believe in god, and the most frequently cited answer was: “lack of evidence.”
This meme, driven by ignorance about atheists and how science functions, is fundamentally dishonest. It exemplifies what I refer to as the Theory of Inherent Dishonesty in Theism, which posits that theists must resort to ignorance and/or dishonesty in defending belief in a god.
In the meme, you can see it presents a variety of concepts that it suggests we can’t see, and it ridicules atheists for believing in these things but not believing in god. The crucial distinction between god and these “invisible” concepts in the meme is that all of these things can be scientifically demonstrated, whereas god cannot. We understand these concepts well; in fact, you wouldn’t be reading this right now without our understanding and application of electricity or communication signals.
God has never been proven. In fact, there is not a shred of evidence for a god. God is nothing like any of the scientifically provable concepts in this meme.
How can we know about the things we “can’t see” in the meme? I thought you’d never ask…
Thoughts: Thoughts are abstract and cannot be seen, but they can be measured indirectly through brain activity. Tools like functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and Electroencephalography (EEG) measure the changes in blood flow or electrical activity in the brain, respectively, which correlate with mental activity. These tools have been instrumental in neuroscience for studying the brain’s response to various stimuli, thereby validating the existence of thoughts.
Gravity: Gravity is a fundamental force that can be observed through its effects on matter. It is the force that causes objects to fall towards the Earth when dropped and keeps planets in their orbits around the sun. The effects of gravity can be measured using tools like gravimeters, which detect slight variations in gravitational strength, confirming its existence.
Time: Time is a fundamental concept that we experience continuously. It can be measured using various scientific methods. The most precise measurement of time is achieved with atomic clocks, which use the vibrations of atoms to measure time very accurately. These clocks are based on the microwave signal that electrons in atoms emit when they change energy levels. The passage of time can also be inferred from natural phenomena such as the rotation of the Earth (which gives us days) and its revolution around the Sun (which gives us years). It’s worth noting, time is a social construct.
Molecules: Molecules are groups of atoms bonded together and are too small to see with the naked eye. However, they can be observed using sophisticated tools like electron microscopes and scanning tunneling microscopes (STMs). These tools allow scientists to visualize individual molecules and even manipulate them, providing direct evidence of their existence.
Electricity: Electricity is a form of energy resulting from the presence and flow of electric charge. Its existence can be observed through its effects, such as powering our appliances and producing light or heat. Tools like voltmeters measure voltage, while ammeters measure current, both providing quantifiable evidence of electricity’s existence. The ability to generate and utilize electricity is a testament to our understanding and mastery of its underlying scientific principles.
Photons: Photons are particles of light and are fundamental to our understanding of quantum mechanics. They can be detected using devices like photomultiplier tubes or charge-coupled devices (CCDs), which convert incoming photons into an electrical signal that can be measured, providing empirical evidence for their existence. Interestingly, photons are the only things that humans can directly see, the light you are seeing right now from this text is a photon.
TV Signals: Television signals are a form of electromagnetic radiation that carry audio and video data. They can be detected using a television set or a digital TV tuner, which decode the signals into audio and video information that we can perceive. The technology behind television broadcasting is built upon our comprehensive understanding of electromagnetic waves and signal transmission, demonstrating the practical application of these scientific concepts.
Atoms: Atoms are the basic units of matter and make up everything in the universe. They can be observed using tools like scanning tunneling microscopes (STMs) and atomic force microscopes (AFMs). These tools allow us to see individual atoms and their bonds, providing direct evidence of their existence.
Radio Signals: Radio signals are a type of electromagnetic wave used for long-distance communication. They can be detected using a radio receiver, which decodes the signals into sound or data that we can perceive. The creation and reception of radio signals are made possible by our in-depth knowledge and refinement of the science behind electromagnetic radiation and signal processing.