Atheism and irrational denial

First, I would like to link to this article on atheism:

Now, I would like to offer an analogy of what it’s like to argue with an atheist:

Two survivors of a shipwreck find their way to an island.  The first man claims to know this part of the ocean well enough to declare that they have landed on an uncharted island and that they two are the first to ever set foot on it.  The second fellow doesn’t have any reason to dispute this, so he suggests that they explore the island.  As they walk along the beach, they see something arranged on the beach up above where the tide can reach it.  As they near the formation, they discover that it is an arrangement of shells that spells out a message:  “Fresh Water 200 Yards to the North”.  The second fellow says, “Oh, look, someone has been here already.”  “You’re such an idiot,” declares the first fellow.  “Those shells only appear to spell out a message.  They were obviously washed up by the tide at some point in the past, and just happened to be arranged by natural forces to look like they spell out a message.”  Neverthless, when the two men make the trek 200 yards north, they do, indeed find a fresh water spring, beside which lay a ladel made out of half a coconut and a stick, which makes it easy to drink from the spring.  “Well, I guess you’ll have to admit now that there was someone on this island before us,” reiterates the second fellow.  “Don’t be so irrational,” argues the first guy.  “It’s very easy to see how such a device as this coconut on a stick could have happened by chance.  I know for a fact that this island has never been visited by any human until we landed here today.”   “How do you know, exactly?” queries the second fellow.  “Well, I am an expert on the islands in this part of the ocean, for one thing.  All my fellow island experts will agree with me.  Besides, you don’t see anyone here, do you?  If someone had visited this island, then he would still be here, or else, if he escaped, he would have related his discovery to others.”  “I don’t see how you can make that claim with such confidence,” replied the second man.  “He might have tried to escape, and got lost in the ocean, or–”  But the first man cut him off.  “You’re obviously obsessed with this non-existent person; you must have some sort of mental disorder.”  “But the message, and the ladle–” “I’m getting bored with having to re-explain everything to someone as stupid as you.  Those things were caused by natural forces, not an intelligent agent.”  The second fellow replies, “It’s true that you have presented a theory concerning the arrangement of the shells on the beach and of this ladle without referring to a designer.  However, your theory, while clever, is not the likeliest explanation.”  “Enough!” cries the first man.  “If you cannot be rational about this, then perhaps it would be best for us to part ways.”  So the two men go live on opposite sides of the island, each convinced the other is an idiot.


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