Sunday, May 20, 2012

Why atheism fails

This could be a very long post. But atheism's abounding failures can be succinctly posted to three failures.

1) Atheism is bookless.

By that, I don't mean that it is without apologetic literature-- there have been many efforts to justify it, by many learned men. That is evidence for it's weakness. After millennia of variations of "God is not Great", atheism remains bookless. There is no systematic atheology, analogous to systematic theology. Theist philosophers such as Socrates and Plato and Aristotle and Maimonides and Averroes and Aquinas and Bonaventure produced more or less systematic understandings of existence and of man's role in it using theist precepts.

There is no cogent systematic effort to explain the world using atheist precepts.

Atheism-- older than Christianity and as old as Judaism and the philosophy of the Greek world that were illuminated and given metaphysical coherence by the Church-- has no summa and no ways of demonstration of God's inexistence and of the source for nature's or for man's existence. Even developed philosophical systems such as Confucianism are not atheistic inherently; they are ethical systems that sidestep the deep metaphysical questions of God's existence and creation that are addressed in the theist systems.

Atheism lacks explanatory power. It lacks a body of metaphysics and natural philosophy and anthropology in which the presupposition of atheism sheds light on existence or nature or man.

2) Atheism is purposeless.

Atheism lacks any basis for morality. Atheists insist that atheists can be moral people, and of course they're right. Although trends certainly seem to suggest that Christians and other theists are more moral, there are countless atheists who are personally very moral, more moral than many Christians. Morality is written in the human heart. Even when we violate it, we nearly always know it.

But an atheist can only be moral by implicitly denying atheism.

If atheism is true, there is no transcendent morality. There is no objective morality, no genuine right and wrong. There is no actual ought. There is only is, which we naively take to be moral imperative, when it is merely a survival imperative.

Atheists claim that man makes his own morality, his own purpose. But if the universe has no purpose, nothing in it has purpose. And purpose is then everywhere an illusion.

Without God, there can be no morality. There can be only human opinion. Opinions alone, without transcendence, can be effective or useless, beneficial or destructive, but not right or wrong.

Genuine morality-- objective morality-- must transcend man, or it is no morality. Just strategy.

3) Atheism is giftless.

Boris Pasternak in Dr. Zhivago enraged the atheist Soviet Government by thinly veiled observations about the brutal soulless rule of atheism in power. He lamented the inevitable

... sanguinary swinishness of the cruel, pockmarked Caligulas, who did not suspect how giftless all oppressors are... Ages and generations breathed freely only after Christ.

State atheism has produced only pockmarked giftless Caligulas-- Danton, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Kim Il Sung, Ceausescu, Honniker, Castro, Pol Pot. The Pan-atheon is a monument to unprecedented cruelty.

Where is atheism's critique of its pockmarked spawn? The only manifestation of atheism in state power is totalitarianism. No exceptions. For two centuries-- from 1789-- every atheist philosophy that has risen to power has brought hell to earth among the people under its boot. Atheist 'secular humanism' has one salient characteristic-- it never survives the rise of atheism. What begins with an edited Jefferson always ends with a pockmarked Caligula.

Atheists expend tons of ink denying the obvious link between atheism and totalitarianism. What is needed, rather, is humble soul-searching about the only consistent manifestation that atheism has taken in politics at the level of the nation-state-- the level where atheism has real power. Atheism in power has always been totalitarian.

                                                                          ...

To engage atheism with respectful discourse is to compromise with it, to participate in the lie. Sometimes, for rhetorical reasons or for humane reasons-- the desire to help our friends escape atheism's intellectual and moral and historical sewage-- such lying is perhaps justified. Respectfully engaging offal may be an effective tactic just to show it to be offal.

But I insist that reasoned debate with atheism is always a sham. A noble sham, perhaps. But we must not forget that atheism is nothing but lie. It is a pitiful self-refuting sewer of narcissism and ignorance and malice.

The only entirely honest response to atheism is contempt and derision. 

16 comments:

  1. Atheists don't really bother me. I think they're wrong of course. But they're no more wrong than people of other faiths.

    It's anti-theists I have a problem with. Anti-theists are a subset of the atheist population. They're growing.

    As Richard Dawkins commanded his followers at the Rally for Reason in Washington, DC: "Riciule and show contempt" for religion.

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    1. Sorry, that last comment was from me, TRISH.

      Delete
    2. I'm not sure if ridicule and contempt, even if Dawkins said it (not saying he didn't, just haven't checked the source myself) is a negative in discussion as long as it is used as a supplement to reasonable debate and not the only tool. Dr Egnor himself has vied for the use of flippant lambasting when necessary recently and I'm inclined to agree with him (though not in all matters). I quote:


      "...my point is not to convince you. If you are foolish enough to believe that science has outgrown democracy, nothing I can say will be of use to you.

      Such viewpoints deserve two replies: ridicule and defiance."

      - First Time Caller (calling again)

      Delete
  2. Michael,

    You just can't make up your mind, can you? Now you're alleging that atheism is 'bookless' after linking to an Amazon.com web page with thousands of book titles to support your unfounded assertion that atheism has an ideology.

    Actually, virtually all science and history books are atheistic. There's a vanishingly small number of such books which implicitly have God causing some event or phenomenon to happen by fiat. Everything is assumed to happen because of natural or human causes.

    You keep on asserting that atheism leads to totalitarianism. You never mention the totalitarian states that arose in Christian societies. Actually, to have a totalitarian regime, you need an ideology, whether Communism, National Socialism, Christianity or Islam.

    Atheism doesn't have an ideology. It's a worldview that states that there's no god(s). Ideologies are looking forward in time, and often have the idea that there's some future utopia which will benefit millions, if not billions, of future humans, and if anyone disagrees with the ideology, then they're evil and need to be harshly dealt with.

    Worldviews, on the other hand, are looking back in time, explaining how the world as it is came to be.

    In your list of theistic writers, you've completely left out the Islamic ones. You think that Islam is wrong. I completely agree with you, as would all the readers of this increasingly silly blog. But I think that Christianity is equally wrong, with its myriad of flavours, 33000 at the last count 10 years ago.

    You think that it's a disadvantage that atheism as a worldview regards the Universe as having no purpose? Well, the Universe, 13.72 billion years old with 100 billion galaxies each containing around 100 billion stars in the visible part (the total Universe is actually spatially infinite) doesn't exist to justify human purpose.

    Humans create their own purpose on Earth, a tiny speck in the infinity of the Cosmos. Unless there's some giant scientific and technological breakthrough, it's almost certain that our purpose will finish here on Earth, at the latest in a few billion years when the Sun becomes a red giant like Betelgeuse and engulfs all the inner planets. More probably sooner, unless we learn to take better care of our surroundings.

    How can you justify your opinion that human morality is God-given. Homo sapiens have been around for several hundreds of thousands of years. There have been around 100 billion humans living on Earth at one time or another, all of whom have followed different moral codes at different times and in different places.

    At least Ancient Judaism was coherent. The Ancient Jews were the Chosen People. They and they alone were selected out from amongst the surrounding nations by God and their covenant was sealed by the imposition of hundreds of commandments. Conversion of nonbelievers wasn't particularly desired.

    Christianity, however, is a missionary religion. Conversion of nonbelievers is a core tenet. So how can Christians justify the world being totally unaware of Christianity until 2,000 years ago, and enormous regions being totally ignorant of it for hundreds if not thousands of years in China, India and the Americas? If Christianity is such a benefit, then how can you justify an omnibeneficient God depriving its benefits from literally billions of His creations?

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  3. Atheism is also hopeless in every meaning of the word.

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    1. Pépé is also a moron in every meaning of the word.

      Delete
  4. "Genuine morality-- objective morality-- must transcend man, or it is no morality."

    You have that backwards. Morality that "transcends man" is inhuman, and irrelevant to humanity.

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  5. Michael,

    I don't believe a magical person both created the universe and listens to our prayers.

    I don't believe a father and son and spirit are all the same thing.

    I don't believe a Jewish man died on a cross and rose from the dead days later and went around talking to people without anyone in authority taking notice.

    I do believe that natural phenomena have natural causes.

    These beliefs are based on a much more extensive reading of history, science and even philosophy than the average American, so I've made a reasonable attempt to ensure my opinions are informed. I've tested my beliefs over the years, and through testing, have altered them.

    I believe that it is better to honestly admit these beliefs than to pretend religious faith in an attempt to better fit into the theistic majority.

    And yet, with this horrible (by your standards) atheistic world view, I've still managed to never be arrested or accused of a crime, to never cheat on my wife, to never even get a traffic ticket, to give thousands of dollars and many hours each year to charity, to never get a girl in trouble, to never smoke, to help my neighbors, and to raise children with books instead of television. In other words, I'm EXACTLY who you want living next door in an emergency. I'm EXACTLY who you want on your community outreach committee. And I'm EXACTLY who you want on a jury if you're on trial.

    So your portrayal of atheism makes absolutely no sense to me at all. This latest rant would be considered bigoted hate speech if someone wrote such a thing against Christians. Here you are, supposedly suffused in the morality of your faith, referring to fellow humans as "offal". So what does it say about you than you so easily and frequently spout such disgust and derision at community members like me and my family and my atheist friends?

    I believe you claimed you were once an atheist. In your atheist days, were you on the verge of joining the Communist party and defecting to North Korea? Were you unable to resist cheating on your taxes or on your wife before you began attending church on Sundays?

    Were you consumed with so much hate before you embraced your Catholicism, or did the hate come with the faith?

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    1. RickK,

      Why do you spend so much time whining?

      Also, I don't think he was calling atheists offal. He was calling ATHEISM offal. See the difference?

      The Torch

      Delete
  6. "So your portrayal of atheism makes absolutely no sense to me at all. This latest rant would be considered bigoted hate speech if someone wrote such a thing against Christians."

    People say much worse things all of the time, and it's never hate speech. We're worse than the Taliban, remember? We're a a child molester club. We hate science and we're prone to violence at any moment. We're basically terrorists and we represent everything that's wrong with this country. We're hateful and backwards. We should never complain of the blatant oppression we face, because that would make us "crybabies."

    "Hate speech" is the norm in the comments section of this blog. See KW or Anonymous, the alleged lawyer who allegedly went to George Mason law school.

    So quit it.

    Now, I'm glad you spent a lot of time patting yourself on the back. You're a good and moral person, and you think you'd be great on a jury. I won't keep you off a jury and there's no jurisdiction in this country that will either. You don't smoke. Oooh, that's the measure of a good citizen. You think I should want to live next door to you because you're such a great guy.

    I guess what I'm saying is, what do you want--a medal or a chest to pin it on?

    TRISH

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    1. Apologies for posting then vanishing - work and family took priority.

      While my post could have been less self-serving, the central message is simple, true, and not lost on you TRISH.

      Morals and people of positive moral character are not only possible without God, they are everywhere. They are legion.

      You have never heard me critize Christians or Christianity in general the way Michael criticizes unbelief and unbelievers. My criticism is reserved for bigots and bigoted speech. Once you start making ideology-based generalizations about other people, then you put yourself right in the same category as the ideologically-based rulers Michael is so fond of discussing.

      Finally, to say as Michael does that morality can only exist by the fiat of his (and your) God is quite a pat on your own back, isn't it?

      Delete
  7. RickK,

    Yeah, yeah. We got it. You're an upstanding citizen. Also, your own cheering section. No one gives RickK better marks than RickK.

    So, let me ask you a question. Do you support violence against the unborn?

    If you say yes, you're debunking the myth of the upstanding citizen. That would make you a genocidal maniac, and not someone I would want living next door to me.

    Joey

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    1. Hi Joey,

      A little thought experiment. You see a van stalled on train tracks in front of an oncoming train. On the side of the van is printed "Hinsdale Fertility, Inc." You quickly see that there is a medical technician trapped in her stuck seat belt, screaming to get out of the van. Next to her is a cooler that says: "50 fertilized embryos." You have time to save either the woman or the cooler - which do you save?

      Delete
  8. Why theism fails
    This could be a very long post. But theism's abounding failures can be succinctly posted to three failures.

    1) Theism is bookless.

    By that, I don't mean that it is without apologetic literature-- there have been many efforts to justify it, by many learned men. That is evidence for it's weakness. After millennia of variations of "God is not Great", theism remains encumbered with thousands of mutually contradictory texts, and none has been shown to be superior in any way to any other. There is no systematic theology, analogous to scientific reasoning. Theist philosophers such as Socrates and Plato and Aristotle and Maimonides and Averroes and Aquinas and Bonaventure produced understandings of existence and of man's role in it using theist precepts that were all completely at odds with one another.

    There is no cogent systematic effort to explain the world using theist precepts that cannot be demonstrated to be incorrect by other theist precepts.

    Theism -- older than Christianity and as old as Judaism and the philosophy of the Greek world that were illuminated and given metaphysical coherence by the Church-- global summa and no objective ways of demonstrating of God's existence and of the source for nature's or for man's existence. Only ethical systems that sidestep the deep metaphysical questions of God's existence and creation that are addressed in the theist systems.

    Theism lacks explanatory power. It lacks a coherent body of metaphysics and natural philosophy and anthropology in which the presupposition of theism sheds light on existence or nature or man. Moreover, theism lacks all ability to make predictive statements regarding the nature of reality because it is a philosophy that exists without objective grounding.

    2) Theism is purposeless.

    Theism lacks any basis for morality. Atheists insist that theists can be moral people, and of course they're right. Although 85% of incarcerated adults in the United States of America are Christians, and Christians are far more likely to hold bigoted and close-minded beliefs than their atheist counterparts, there are countless theists who are personally very moral, more moral than many theists. To say that morality is written in the human heart is an idiotic non-sequitur.
    Abrahamic theists like christians, in fact, can only be moral by implicitly denying the source of their faith, because their god engages in those acts they consider the most egregious violations of their morality (such as murder).

    If theism is true, there is no transcendent morality, only divine command. There is no objective morality, no genuine right and wrong, because theists’ gods can change the definitions of morality arbitrarily. There is no actual ought for the same reason. This is correct, and the reality that there is only is thus drives the average atheist or theist to endeavor to treat others the way they would like to be treated.

    In this way, man makes his own morality, his own purpose. Whether the universe does or does not have a purpose is utterly irrelevant here. Claims such as “if the universe has no purpose then nothing in it has purpose” or “…[then] purpose is then everywhere an illusion are nothing more than puerile category errors. (Continued in reply)

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    1. ...continued from above

      3) Theism is giftless.

      Boris Pasternak in Dr. Zhivago enraged the state theistic Soviet Government by thinly veiled observations about the brutal soulless rule of attributing christian theistic dictatorship to a single ruling power. He lamented the inevitable
      ... sanguinary swinishness of the cruel, pockmarked Caligulas, who did not suspect how giftless all oppressors are... Ages and generations breathed freely only after the end of the Cold War.

      State theism has produced only pockmarked giftless Caligulas-- Danton, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Kim Il Sung, Ceausescu, Honniker, Castro, Pol Pot. The Pan-atheon is a monument to unprecedented cruelty. I addition, state theism supported over a thousand years of barbaric feudal and catholic rule during the “Dark Ages” in Western Europe.

      Where is theism's critique of its pockmarked spawn? The only manifestation of theism in state power is totalitarianism. No exceptions. For over a thousand years, every theist philosophy that has risen to power has brought hell to earth among the people under its boot. Luckily, state theism has one salient characteristic-- it never survives the rise of secular humanism. What begins with a pockmarked “John Paul” the 854th always ends with a Renaissance.

      Atheists expend tons of ink denying the obvious link between theism and totalitarianism. What is needed, rather, is humble soul-searching about the only consistent manifestation that theism has taken in politics at the level of the nation-state-- the level where theism has real power. Theism in power has always been totalitarian.

      ...

      To engage theism with respectful discourse is to compromise with it, to participate in the lie. Sometimes, for rhetorical reasons or for humane reasons-- the desire to help our friends escape theism's intellectual and moral and historical sewage-- such lying is perhaps justified. Respectfully engaging offal may be an effective tactic just to show it to be offal.

      But I insist that reasoned debate with theism is always a sham. A noble sham, perhaps. But we must not forget that theism is nothing but lie. It is a pitiful self-refuting sewer of narcissism and ignorance and malice.

      The only entirely honest response to theism is contempt and derision.


      LOL. It’s just too easy.

      Delete
  9. That would make you a genocidal maniac, and not someone I would want living next door to me.


    I really hope there is nobody this stupid or dishonest living next to me. Abortion is not genocide.

    ReplyDelete