Jim O'Neill, a writer of rambling invective for the wingnut website Canada Free Press, has excreted an hysterical screed entitled "Atheism 101: Trickle-Down Poison," in which he blames atheism for everything he can think of and possibly one or two things he cannot, including the Jonestown massacre. As he seems to equate atheism with communism, an exceedingly large proportion of what he says is exceedingly wrong.
“”The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”
| —Psalms 14:1 NKJV
“”I form the light and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil
| —Isaiah 45:7 KJV
“”The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained.
| —George Washington: First President of the United States
See our article on quote mining. In this case, it is to avoid mentioning that Washington was a deist and was speaking of natural-law morality, a popular idea at that time, which can be just as easily accepted by an atheist.|
|Atheism is an intellectually shallow, morally stunted, and socially regressive blight on humanity.||With an opening salvo like this, one knows that this article is going to be particularly exciting to read.|
|Its deleterious effects upon society can be seen all around us—from the self-serving arrogance of political elites, to the rampant greed and corruption in banking/business, to America’s blatant moral decay.||There has been political corruption as long as there has been politics, business corruption as long as there has been business, and moral decay in the U.S. at least as long as there have been ministers raping their young parishioners, or alternatively paying for it over at the No-Tell Motel. Needless to say, religion, or the lack thereof, has absolutely nothing to do with any of this, except to increase the incidence of hypocrisy among people professing such religions as claim moral superiority.|
|We live in an atheistic or secular society, one that worships at the altar of scientific positivism/secular humanism. Those are code words for a type of Godless barbarism dressed in the costume of sophistication and intellectual hubris.||See our article on secular religions, which includes some pointed responses to this all-too-familiar claptrap.|
|Winston Churchill once said of Islam that “No stronger retrograde force exists in the world.” I beg to differ—as a regressive, debilitating, socially destructive force, atheism has no peer (although granted, it’s a close contest). (Link)||One could respond to this by starting to enumerate all the atheists (especially scientists) who have contributed to the progress, strengthening, and construction of society; but then this article would start approaching the size of the New York telephone directory. In any case, Churchill is well known as someone who espoused some strikingly regressive ideas, partly why the British public bounced him out of office right after the War.|
|I should mention up front that I don’t dislike atheists per se—only their despicable philosophy, such as it is. I have friends that are atheists, and I treat them with the same respect and courtesy as I would anyone with a serious disease.||See our article on the friend argument.|
|(Perhaps “we the people” should start focusing more on the “disease,” and not so much the “symptoms”).||See also our article on the ad hominem. Claiming that one's political and/or ideological opponents have some sort of mental deficiency, without any objective evidence, is a very old dodge practiced by those who do not regard rational debate as an option, either because they know they have no rational arguments for their position, or because they think they have rational arguments but have become frustrated by their opponent's continuing failure to see the light.
Notable practitioners of this dodge, in one form or another, include Bob Altemeyer, Samuel A. Cartwright (a doctor who called a desire for liberty in black slaves "drapetomania"), Karl Marx and his followers (first in the form of false consciousness, and later more explicitly in the form of "Sluggishly Progressing Schizophrenia"), Lyle Rossiter (whom Mr. O'Neill cites below), and Michael Savage.
|Atheism and anti-Christian teachings/attitudes has been vigorously promoted by the Far Left since at least as far back as the French Revolution, and the history of its advance is an interesting one, but I’ll leave that for another time. For now I’ll concentrate on why atheism is such a vile doctrine, and why it must be fought at every turn if humanity is to survive and thrive. (I’ll address the subset of “conservative,” or right-wing, atheists later in the article). (Link)||This is another old fallacious dodge, Red-baiting. Mr. O'Neill exhibits a tendency, throughout the article, to conflate atheism with communism and other far-left political ideologies.
Though this is fallacious in itself, it is ironic that Mr. O'Neill should bring up the French Revolution here. Namely, Maximilien Robespierre, the dictator responsible for a large part of the Revolution's bloodshed, was not an atheist, but a deist who at the height of the Reign of Terror proscribed the atheistic Cult of Reason in favor of his own deistic Cult of the Supreme Being.|
|Dinesh D’Souza has pointed out that atheistic pundits are no longer content with being tolerated; they want to prove that their view of reality is the correct one, once and for all.||Most people would suggest that Distort D'Newsa, as he is otherwise known, is not exactly a credible source of information on much of anything. However, we will humor him and assume that he is talking only about the New Atheists, that loudmouthed fringe minority of atheists who have recently made a name for themselves by seeming to conflate Christianity with creationism.|
|I concur—bring it on. One side of the debate is correct, and the other side is insanely deluded. It’s obviously important to see which side is on the side of truth.||Although quite unaware of it, Mr. O'Neill managed to say something true here.|
|To say that atheism denies the existence of God doesn’t tell us much, unless we define what we mean by the label “God.”||Note the straw man. It is the position of many people that atheists know that God exists, but actively deny this existence; we must conclude that Mr. O'Neill is assuming that position here.|
|I would be happy to discuss the concept/reality of God, but the focus of this article is atheism not God, so I’ll employ a simple yet usable definition for now. I’ll have to leave questions such as whether God is a white-bearded guy sitting on a cloud, or as Paul said, a reality “in which we live, and move, and have our being,” and other ontological/theological concerns for another time.||Fair enough. He's right that the exact nature of God isn't really the issue here. Although...|
|For our purposes here, I’ll simply define God as an intelligent power behind creation. Atheists deny the existence of such a God, and from their denial spring a variety of absurd, puerile, and socially harmful concepts.||This definition of God is similar to Richard Dawkins's God Hypothesis, which defines God as a "supernatural creator that is appropriate for us to worship." Both definitions are straw men that reclassify a large number of people, notably pagans and Buddhists, as atheists.|
|Because many of atheism’s adherents in the intelligentsia are under the mistaken impression that atheism is intellectually superior to a belief in God, it is perhaps best to start any discussion of atheism by drawing attention to its paucity of intellectual weight or validity. Atheism is, at the end of the day, nothing but a house of cards—a negative, nihilistic, ego-inflating, life-denying doctrine that is based on nothing but ignorance, faulty intellectualism, and egocentric hubris.||Note that Mr. O'Neill does not actually say anything in this paragraph, so that when stripped of its surfeit of adjectives it can be roughly translated as, "Them eggheads think they're better than us, but they're a bunch of dummies; haw, haw, haw!"
To correct his statement, atheism is essentially what scientists call the null hypothesis—the default answer to any question in science is "Probably no, unless you have solid evidence for it." Given the lack of solid evidence for any of the thousands of gods proposed by humanity throughout history, the null hypothesis of religion is atheism—or, more specifically "Unless you have some solid evidence for it, we'll proceed from the assumption that your religion isn't true, any more than the others are." That most religions dislike being judged by the same criteria as other religions perhaps says more about their lack of credibility than their opponents' lack of morality (an attack on their opponents' morality being a common method theists try when intellectually cornered).
Atheists are fond of ridiculing the story of Creation as recounted in the Book of Genesis
|Atheists are fond of ridiculing the story of Creation as recounted in the Book of Genesis, preferring their own oh-so-brilliant version which runs something like this:
“”Yea, in the beginning there was Nothing, and Nothing begat nothing—not even darkness. Nothing be praised! Then lo, for no reason Nothing became All That Is; yea Stuff happened to happen. Then behold, the pointless fumblings of the Hand of Chance (praised be Its name) breathed Life unto Itself. Lo, and Dead Stuff begat Live Monkeys! And it came to pass that the monkeys begat humans, such as Bill Maher. Thanks for Nothing!
|Another standard strawman. If that were what cosmology, abiogenesis, and evolution (all part of science, btw, not religious positions), then they would be ridiculous. None of them say anything like that, and atheists don't universally believe them anyway (though most do, since they tend to accept the findings of science).|
|Verily I say to you this is bulls—t,...||Yet another truth told unwittingly.|
|...but atheists buy into such nonsense. (There is, I might point out, a vast difference between metaphorically depicted ineffable wisdom, and spurious, self-serving claptrap). The atheist’s Creation myth has all of the warped absurdity of one of Kipling’s “Just So” stories, with none of the charm. (Link)||Atheists do not actually have a "creation myth," nor have they need of one, instead relying only on what the scientific evidence suggests at any given time. Buddhists, with their very long tradition of not having a creation myth, hold the view that questions on the origin of the world are meaningless. It's worth noting here that "the warped absurdity" involved here refers to O'Neill's strawman version of the Big Bang, not the theory itself.|
|Those who have pursued spiritual growth earnestly, know that truth mostly resides in consciousness and experience, and seldom in words and the intellect.||If this is the case, it follows that "those who have pursued spiritual growth earnestly" lack critical thinking skills, thus perhaps producing behavior such as that exhibited by that noted proponent of spiritual growth, Ray Comfort. But, lest we be accused of nutpicking, we will simply say that Mr. O'Neill is not even wrong here, and that a good deal of science involves interpreting the knowledge gained by experience.|
|Nonetheless scholars in the field of Intelligent Design (ID) have made admirable advances on the materialist’s home turf. The circumstantial scientific evidence for the existence of an Intelligent Designer is now quite impressive.||The only way in which that "evidence" is at all impressive is in the sheer level of its absurdity. See our article on evidence against a recent creation for the bevy of evidence falsifying creationism, of which Intelligent Design is simply a camouflaged version.|
|(I should mention that the scientists involved in ID are adamant about separating their research from theology). (Link)|
|It doesn’t make any difference to atheists. They steadfastly refuse to hear the truth, and remain like little kids with fingers stuck in their ears, chanting “La, La, La, I CAN’T HEAR YOU!”||The psychological projection meters just overloaded.|
|It would be laughable, if the results of such willful ignorance were not often so tragic—and make no mistake, the social results of widespread atheism are no laughing matter. (Link)||That must come as a great surprise to Western Europe and Scandinavia, with their largely atheistic populations and stable societies.|
Atheists often point to the “bloody history” of religion, while conveniently ignoring their own much more violent and bloody past
|Atheists often point to the “bloody history” of religion, while conveniently ignoring their own much more violent and bloody past—and they’ve managed to pull off their staggering blood-bath in much less time then say, Christianity, whose body-count compared to atheism’s is admittedly amateurish. From Robespierre’s Reign of Terror, to Lenin, to Stalin, to Hitler, to Mao, to Pol Pot… atheism and its adherents have cut a bloody swath through history that leaves other doctrines in the dust—and in such a relatively short time too! I’ll admit it’s impressive, in its own sick way. (Link) (Link)||As we have already pointed out, Robespierre was not an atheist. Neither was Hitler, the Catholic and Germanic mystic who believed he was "doing the work of the Lord" in his anti-Semitic crusade (which, by the way, owes a great deal to Martin Luther's "On the Jews and their Lies".
The others, admittedly, were atheists, and admittedly did top the charts, repeatedly, in terms of democides and mass slaughters. However, Mr. O'Neill is continuing his Red-baiting, and fails to notice a crucial factor: while atheists are criticizing bloodbaths performed in the name of religion, these were bloodbaths performed in the name of communism, not atheism.
Also, note that while he discounts that distinction here, Mr. O'Neill relies on it near the end of this article when lambasting the mass media over the Jonestown massacre.
Atheism is a symptom of a stunted, immature spirituality, and is a “naïve, childish concept” dressed in grown-up clothing. The intelligentsia who flaunt the chic cache of atheism are in truth merely cases of arrested development, coupled with a narcissistic myopia. (Link)||
“”When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called religion.
| —Robert M. Pirsig
|What might be called “classic” atheism stems from the teachings of the ancient Greek, Epicurus (341-270 BC). Like any good atheist, he started from a predetermined position, and then went out in search of “evidence” to support it, as opposed to arriving at his conclusions via an unbiased search for truth.
In Epicurus’s case, the position that he started out from, was that the universe was strictly materialistic, with no divine purpose behind it, or influence upon it. He then searched for “data” to support his presupposition. Modern atheism is essentially a tweaked variation of Epicurus’ teachings. (Link)||This is a somewhat novel spin on the rather tired dreck spieled by presuppositionalist creationists. Its presence in an article that otherwise espouses the evidentialist approach indicates that the article is a bit of a cut-and-paste job on Mr. O'Neill's part.|
|Given that this is a relatively short article I don’t have the luxury of delving into Epicurus’ teachings in any depth, but by discussing a few of his concepts I hope to at least give the reader unfamiliar with Epicurean teachings some idea of what they are. For a more in-depth analysis of Epicureanism (and its modern-day counterparts such as Darwinism), I recommend Benjamin Wiker’s book “Moral Darwinism: How We Became Hedonists.” (Link)||As further evidence of quote mining, let us point out a few significant disconnects between reality and Mr. O'Neill's line of reasoning.
- Mr. O'Neill's source claims that Epicurus's philosophy was "interrupted" by the arrival of Plato. Not only did Plato die several years before Epicurus was born, but Epicurus started out in Plato's philosophic tradition.
- Furthermore, this intervention of Plato's was supposed to be a good thing. But Plato was a big promoter of "the intellect" and did not think much of "consciousness and experience," which Mr. O'Neill believes are the two primary sources of truth.
- To bolster the fallacious characterization of the atheist as a person who seeks evidence falsely validating his own preconceptions, Charles Darwin is cited as an example of such an atheist. Darwin, it is claimed, was an unwitting adherent of Epicurean philosophy, and evolution theory is a result of this dishonest evidence-gathering process. However, Darwin is on record as having believed in the "watchmaker argument" until he was convinced otherwise by his scientific studies, and was never an atheist.
Two of the main supports for the Epicurean (atheist) world-view, are atomism, and an eternal universe
|Two of the main supports for the Epicurean (atheist) world-view, are atomism (“borrowed” from Democritus), and an eternal universe. It’s worth noting that neither of these two major supports for Epicureanism/atheism were empirically verifiable by the “science” of his day. Therefore both of Epicurus’ “proofs” were fallacies of the Argumentum ad Ignorantiam (appeal to ignorance) variety.||Before we let Mr. O'Neill ramble on too much more about Epicurus, we must point out that, as Mr. O'Neill himself makes clear, modern science has invalidated much of what Epicurus said; and since modern-day atheists accept this, the broadsides he unloads on modern-day atheists here, even if they were valid, are yet another example of a straw man.|
|Epicurus described atoms as featureless, sterile, meaningless bits of matter. Epicurus knew that a sense of wonder about the universe might lead his followers astray. That is, they might start to believe in divinity and God knows what. As the Bible points out “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom” (“fear” in this case meaning a sense of great awe).
Epicurus nipped any sense of awe in the bud, by claiming that any apparent complexity and design in Nature was, at its root, merely the result of the chance arrangement of meaningless, pugnaciously un-divine atoms. His followers could then say “Oh, is that all.” Today we have a society filled with people saying “Oh, is that all.” This, despite the fact that we know today that atoms as Epicurus described them do not exist.||On the other hand, a number of modern-day atheists, most notably Albert Einstein, have described a sense of awe or religio in consideration of the natural universe.|
|As Fritjof Capra observed in “The Tao of Physics,” “Gradually, physicists began to realise [sic] that nature, at the atomic level, does not appear as a mechanical universe composed of fundamental building blocks, but rather as a network of relations, and that, ultimately, there are no parts at all in this interconnected web.”||The presence of that "[sic]" indicates that Mr. O'Neill might be unfamiliar with things outside the U.S., such as the British way of spelling certain words. But as the creators of the Political Compass have said, "It's a grey area anyway. And we don't want to labour the point. Except to add that most of these cavillous correspondents seem to feel that they have a licence or a blank cheque for a level of rudeness that more civilised souls wouldn't have dreamt of."|
|Indeed, it turns out that atoms are mostly space, containing swirling sub-atomic particle/patterns of data-energy. So mathematically elegant, precise, and complex are these bundles of data-energy we call atoms, that one could be excused for thinking that they were designed. They are most emphatically NOT teeny dead BBs of matter. (Link)||The atoms that we observe are not one of many arrangements of quarks that can possibly exist, thus "proving" the existence of God by their structure. They are, instead, the only formations that are possible given the prevailing natural law. To illustrate this point, we give two examples:
It is perfectly understandable that we, having formed our mathematical ideas in subjection to those laws, would think atoms "mathematically elegant" and "complex," even though they might not be. Compare: The ancient Greeks were so caught up with the mathematical elegance of the circle that they attempted to explain the orbits of the planets in terms of epicycles, often reaching absurd levels of complexity; but the orbits turned out to be elliptical.
- Snowflakes. It is known that an individual snowflake was not designed by any process separate from natural law, being formed instead when water droplets freeze in midair; yet snowflakes have a "mathematically elegant" and "complex" crystalline structure.
- Elements with short half-lives. Several elements on the high end of the periodic table were not known to exist until they were synthesized in the laboratory, because those atoms break apart in a fraction of a second, leaving behind the more stable atoms that we know so well.
|(A brief aside: In any discussion of spirituality, or its antithesis atheism, it’s worth recalling that words are merely metaphors. For example, if I tell you “I poured a glass of water on a rose.” You cannot hold the “glass,” drink the “water,” or smell the “rose” because, quite obviously, words are not the things that they describe. Words are no more or less than a type of code for an ineffable reality. Typically “we see through a glass, darkly” because of the veiling effect of layer upon layer of words. Whereas spirituality attempts to dissolve these verbal/mental veils, atheism uses them to obfuscate the divine).||It is true that in some instances "spiritual" persons cannot relate their divine experiences in words. This is often because "spiritual" persons are incapable of forming coherent sentences.|
|Epicurus’ description of atoms as “teeny dead BBs” is absurd. So what about his other main support for atheism—eternity? I should start by giving a brief description of why the concept of eternity is important to Epicurus’ atheism.||Epicurus obviously did not describe atoms as "teeny dead BBs", since BBs hadn't been invented in his day. Don't use quotes when you're paraphrasing, Jim.
Back to the subject, describing them as inert round particles may seem absurd today since we clearly know better, but for his day that was a pretty good guess, since they were still conjectural. No one had seen atoms, molecules, or even individual cells yet, so the ancient Greeks did well to think up atoms in the first place. They were certainly closer to the truth than Christian thought prior to the rise of science, which assumed matter was just amounts of stuff, not made of constituent particles.|
|On the face of it, the idea that inert, mindless bits of matter (atoms as envisioned by Epicurus) should by chance, arrange themselves into the undeniably complex universe we experience, seems a laughably jejune concept.||See the above remarks on the complexity of atoms.|
|But give those atoms eternity and infinity to bump around in, and anything is possible—so claim atheists.||An awful lot can happen over 13+ billion years in something the size of the universe, especially when particles don't interact totally randomly, but behave in certain ways predictable by the laws of physics.|
|This is a variant of the Monkey Theorem, which in essence states that a monkey hitting a keyboard for a long enough amount of time will eventually type a given set of books, such as the works of Shakespeare. Research done with the help of computers has shown that the chances of such an outcome actually happening are slim to none. Take away eternity, and the odds of a monkey typing Shakespeare (or the universe arranging itself as it is by chance) drop to zero, or so close as to make no difference.||Even if it is a one-in-a-billion chance that a certain event will happen at some given point, the probability of the event happening at none of a billion trial points approaches no more than .|
|Many people believe that it was primarily Christians who opposed the Big Bang theory, because it disagreed with the Bible’s Creation story, but that is simply not true.||Given the amount of invective currently slung at the Big Bang theory by creationists, they could have fooled anyone.|
|In fact it was a Christian, the Catholic priest Georges Lemaître, who came up with the theory, (with the Pope’s enthusiastic support). Wikipedia observes that today “the [Big Bang] theory is the most comprehensive and accurate explanation [for the creation of the universe] supported by scientific evidence and observations.”||And yet, atheists (and mainstream Christians) overwhelmingly accept it, because it's supported by the evidence—i.e., they're following the evidence where it leads, even if they were uncomfortable with the idea when it was first proposed. It's the creationists who try to deny the Big Bang theory. Remind me who's side this guy is on again?|
|It was primarily atheists who passionately opposed Lemaître’s theory. They opposed it because it demolished the crucial atheistic crutches of eternity and infinity. If the universe had a beginning (even if billions of years ago), and was not infinite but was indeed still expanding, then the time and space needed for the Monkey Theorem to be at all viable just wasn’t there. (Link)||The opposition was more on the grounds that evidence was lacking; rather like many of the initial objections to evolution, which were on scientific and not religious grounds, unlike the unsupported broadsides leveled at it these days by creationists.|
For centuries atheists used science as their stalking horse
|For centuries atheists used science as their stalking horse, especially once the theories of Darwinian evolution came on the scene. But in the 20th century science “turned” on them via such discoveries as the Big Bang and quantum physics, and in the end pulled the rug out from under atheism, so to speak. So the Far Left attacked science.||Here goes the Red-baiting again. Of course, if Mr. O'Neill had read his history instead of merely slinging snarl words about, he would know that the communists' attacks were largely leveled, not at the lovely theism-affirming Big Bang theory, but at the vile atheistic "Darwinian evolution" that he has been sliming as the "Far Left"'s own brainchild, and at the genetics that validated it.|
|And it’s not just science that the Far Left attacked, but logic and reason itself.||Mr. O'Neill is confusing atheism with postmodernism, a form of bullshit that classifies science as culturally constructed "mythology."|
|The ultimate atheistic position is anti-science, anti-logic, and anti-reason—all of which fits in nicely with their anti-life nihilism.||It would appear that Mr. O'Neill has performed a near-perfect rip-off of one of Ayn Rand's talking-points, with only a superfluous "a" prefixing "theistic."|
|Atheist’s pursuit of truth extends only so far as it serves to further atheism’s rationalizations, justifications, and excuses.
Any excuse that will serve as a crutch for their lame doctrine will do. When science, logic, and reason failed to support atheism, it was to be expected that the egocentric self-interest at the core of atheism would lash out—and so it has, and so it does, and so it will. (Link)||This is, of course, true of any philosophical system, although it is truer of those that hold non-subscribers to the system to be in moral error.|
|(A brief aside: Before diving [briefly!] into the murky depths of relativism, I should mention that all too many scientists remain atheists not because scientific research proves the nonexistence of God, but because of their blind faith in the religion of secularism. Their dogged adherence to secularism is nothing but a stubborn insistence on clinging to outdated paradigms of the past—propaganda foisted onto science by atheists over the centuries).||See, again, our article on secular religions.
It is ironic that Mr. O'Neill should slam secularism, given that he has appealed in the epigraphs to that noted secularist, George Washington, and throughout to American tradition, of which secularism is a part.|
|The Far Left turned on science a few decades ago, because it was getting uncomfortably close to looking into things that didn’t jive with the atheistic world-view. So the Far Left word-meisters got to work at deconstructing science. The resulting gobbledygook was famously “outed” by Sokal’s Hoax, which high-lighted the fact that the atheistic Left will tend to accept any sort of garbage thrown their way, if you toss in the right buzz-words, and phrase it in impressive sounding (if nonsensical) academic jargon. (Link)||Mr. O'Neill is referring to the Sokal affair, a campaign by Alan Sokal to expose a non-peer-reviewed postmodernist journal as being full of shit. However, Sokal described himself as a left-winger who was acting to "save the left from a trendy segment of itself."|
|Moral pluralism is a cultural sickness on a par with, and often connected to, atheism. As Stefan Jetchick observes “It is ‘moral pluralism’ that is at the heart of chronic hunger, environmental destruction, and third world debt, because ‘moral pluralism’ only begets moral indifference.” Relativism—yeah, there’s the ticket. (Link)||As the Secular Humanist Declaration makes clear, a large proportion of atheists are not in favor of moral relativism. Even Mr. O'Neill's bugaboo contingent, the communists, are not in favor of it; a large number of communists are on record as holding very strongly to the moral absolute of, "Workers, good; bourgeois oppressors, lebensunwertes Leben."|
|“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.” When Lewis Carroll penned those words for “Through the Looking-Glass” he was making fun of the absurdity of such thinking, but relativists look up to this type of insane “reasoning” as a guiding star. (Link)
In essence relativism says “It’s true because I say so—so there.” Au contraire mon frère, if the convoluted linguistic knot of relativism was based on reason it might be true, but “as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.” (Link)
In the more refined language of Dr. David R. Hawkins: “The appeal of relativism…is to imbalance and excess rather than to truth, wisdom, or caution. ...To the prideful, narcissistic (“sensitive”) ego, responsibility is “uncomfortable,” as are certain facts of reality that impinge on social image. Thus, to protect itself, the ego welcomes the concept of [relativism] to dispense with unwanted realities. ...A serious downside to the pseudo-intellectualism of relativism is that it is a trap for academia, which confused intellectualism with erudition or intelligence.” (Link)
|Again, he's attacking a position that most of us in the reality-based community don't subscribe to.|
Relativism is a sort of Nietzschesque anti-reason reasoning
|Relativism is a sort of Nietzschesque anti-reason reasoning. The website “Atheism Analyzed” does an admirable job of showing just how lame some of the various relativistic/atheistic doctrines are. For example, Bertrand Russell’s dictum “We must require evidence for a thing if it is to be believed” (from his atheistic essay “Why I am Not A Christian”), is shown to be thoroughly faulty logic. (Link)||There is a flat-out lie in this paragraph. That quote does not appear in the text of "Why I Am Not A Christian." Furthermore, the only occurrences of the phrase on the entire World Wide Web are, as of the column's publication, the "Atheism Analyzed" website and Mr. O'Neill's column. While Russell did say something a bit like this in his essay, this is a greatly shortened and partly distorted paraphrase of what he said. Again, don't put paraphrases in quotes, Jim!|
|Russell’s dictum is “commonly used as a law for materialism.” Yet as “Atheism Analyzed” points out, Russell’s statement is self-refuting—logically speaking it’s rubbish. Does the fact that we don’t (can’t) have empirical “evidence” for love, truth, and faith mean that they are figments of our imaginations? That is, does the fact that we can’t weigh and measure them mean they don’t exist ? Does the lack of “evidence” for awareness mean we aren’t aware?||Even assuming the truth of the above quote, which is shown to be false, love, truth, faith, and even awareness are not "things"; they are abstract concepts.|
|Russell’s looking for the wrong thing, with the wrong motives, in the wrong place, with the wrong tools. He reminds me of the proverbial fish swimming in the ocean derisively demanding, “Show me the water!” If you add the extra fillip that the fish is also made of water, then his statement’s foolishness is especially evident.||If a fish possessed the intelligence of humans, it would be as capable of understanding water as we are of understanding air.|
|There is nothing intrinsically unscientific about spirituality—in fact it can assimilate science quite easily.||Science, with its philosophical basis of methodological naturalism, ignores the "spiritual." Any attempted assimilation of science by "spirituality" (generally shysters claiming "scientific verification" for somebody's delusions) is called pseudoscience. However, that's not to say that science has to ignore the spiritual. If the spiritual exists, and has an effect on our reality, then it can be scientifically studied. The thing is that when it has been tested under fair conditions, it has consistently failed to show evidence of its existence—so unless proponents are able to offer some real evidence for it, science has to ignore spirituality, because so far as we can tell, there's no there there.|
|Spirituality is much more open and inclusive than the limited framework of science, which has no methodology for dealing with life’s most vital concerns, such as values, morals, and meaning. Spirituality has no axe to grind with science.||It is true that science is silent on moral questions. This would explain the existence of the rest of philosophy, including the entire field of ethics.|
|In David Bodanis’ book “E = mc2” he explains that the “E” stands for energy, the equals sign means “is the same as,” and the mc2 refers to what we label “matter.” In essence Einstein’s famous equation is a way of saying that energy is matter, and matter is energy. Matter is simply a sort of congealed energy—which is why matter has such an explosive effect when its bound energy is quickly released. (Link)
As Bodanis points out, if you were to abruptly release the pent-up energy in a common pencil, the resultant blast would destroy a city block. We use matter that is already unstable, such as plutonium or uranium, to make atomic bombs, but in truth any matter could theoretically be used. Also noteworthy are the “new” forms of energy such as zero-point energy, and dark energy, which research suggests fill “empty” space. Is energy everywhere? (Link)||In a sense it is, yes. But this better not be the lead-up to pseudoscientific new-agey misuses of the term "energy"...|
|The First Law of Thermodynamics states: Energy can neither be created nor destroyed, only altered in form. (Without using words, try to “describe” what energy really is—“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power”). Is it not a valid scientific pursuit to inquire into any possible connections between the Designer of Intelligent Design, and indestructible energy?||No, that is not a proper scientific pursuit because any “Designer of Intelligent Design” is unproved and a purely hypothetical supernatural idea. Now, if Christians could provide some solid evidence for their god, and some ways of studying him that were verifiable and falsifiable, science could do something with it. The ball's in their court to provide that, though.|
|Such things as the scientific field of ecology, and the Butterfly Effect point toward the unity of everything—a universe made of one interconnected reality, one energy, in all its various shapes and forms. Is this not similar to a God who is everything, or the One? Perhaps God is not energy, but that which created energy—or both; creator and creation? I’m just asking in an open-minded way—as science should properly be doing, as opposed to its current one-sided gathering of “excuses” for atheism.||What Mr. O'Neill is describing here is called pantheism, which is not the same as the theism he is pushing.|
|Is it not possible that, aided by divine wisdom, the mystics of old intuited truths only now being discovered by science?” Of course it is possible, even probable, as the new scientific field of consciousness research implies. It is only the arrogant clenching onto of the provincial doctrine of anthropocentric atheism that prevents the obvious from shining forth. (Link)||An analogous question is, "Is it not possible that Epicurus intuited truths about evolution that have only now been discovered by science?" The answer given by Mr. O'Neill and his source, above, is a resounding no; they pointed to a tenuous parallel between evolution theory and some musings from Epicurus as evidence that Darwin was wrong. If Mr. O'Neill is to be consistent in applying that principle, he must also deny that the old mystics arrived at scientific truth by accident.|
|The various Christian sects and their followers, for all their faults and foibles, are largely pointed in the right direction—toward truth and life, (“I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly”). Atheism, which aggressively celebrates egocentricity, leads society inexorably towards destruction, nihilism, and death. Why would anyone in their right mind ever choose atheism/relativism of their own free will? (Link)||Note the bait and switch that's going on here. The Christians are largely pointed toward truth and life (an argument by assertion), while atheists push hard for egocentism (another argument by assertion), and their ideas push society towards destruction, because I don't like (or just don't understand) them. So why would anyone choose (my strawman idea of atheism)/(an idea most atheists don't subscribe to)? There are good arguments for and against religious beliefs, but distorting the other side's views is a way of sidestepping the debate, not showing the other side is wrong.|
|Oh I forgot, there is no such thing as free will in a Godless universe. Nor, say atheist pundits, are there such things as love, compassion, integrity, hope—in fact any emotion, or virtue (or vice). Atheism posits that these are all just the result of randomly created biological processes which produce the ILLUSION of compassion, gratitude, hope, et al.
As Francis Crick, (atheist and co-discoverer of the structure of DNA), wrote in The Astonishing Hypothesis, “You, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules”||This talking point has been spieled ad nauseam by creationists. The best response is probably that there is no such thing as free will in a Calvinist universe, either, and that the Calvinists were not known for their neglect of moral matters. The fact is that atheists don't all agree that free will is an illusion. That's a debate all its own, and not all of us are particularly interested in it.|
Atheism mandates the belief that we are all just valueless, meaningless, emotionless, automatons adrift in a valueless, meaningless universe
|Atheism mandates the belief that we are all just valueless, meaningless, emotionless, automatons adrift in a valueless, meaningless universe. Trust me, this is not the philosophy you want driving the people in charge of businesses, banks, and a bloated government bureaucracy. Ready for some sex and soma, Bernard—or shall we join Winston in Room 101? (Link)||Two words: Straw man.|
|Do most atheists even care about the full implications of atheism? Not hardly. Atheists are for the most part simply interested in protecting their self-serving life-style, and marching in lock-step with others who share in their smug delusion. Atheism means win, win, win all around for the ego—only society and culture lose. As Dr. Hawkins succinctly puts it, “In truth, we exist and survive , not because of the ego, but in spite of it.” (Link) and (Link)||Two words: Ad hominem.|
|The secularization/de-Christianization of America started in earnest with the infiltration of Harvard by Far Left aficionados of Keynesian economics in the early part of the last century (the homosexual Keynes and his cohorts were against Christianity for the obvious reason that the Bible condemns their life-style—at least it did in those days). (Link)||And now he switches to Red-baiting again. This little nugget is sourced directly from Keynes at Harvard, an anti-communist propaganda work commissioned for the purpose of demonstrating to right-wing Harvard alumni that communists had infiltrated their alma mater and were by those means responsible for all problems facing the U.S.
In reality, of course, the secularization of the U.S. commenced as soon as the Puritans ran out of steam, in the early 18th century. After the First Great Awakening, the process accelerated, with a great many Congregational churches converting to Unitarianism; the Founding Fathers were largely secularists. The Fundamentalist-Modernist controversy of the 1920s, itself occurring before the infiltration of Harvard was said to have begun, was the culmination of a long controversy from which the Fundamentalists emerged as a clear minority.|
|American academic atheism received a further surge with an influx of professors from the “Frankfurt School” in the 1930s.—and so the atheistic/anti-Christian message was passed down to generation after generation of students, and then passed on to “we the people” through a thousand-and-one subtle, and not so subtle, innuendos, hints, and nudges—coupled with constant “lawfare” waged by the ACLU and their ilk. You could call it “trickle-down poison.” The next, and last, major “surge” occurred in the 1960s. (I don’t generally urge readers to click on the links I provide, but in this case I will). (Link) (Link)||Mr. O'Neill is of course overstating the influence of the Frankfurt School, whose defining feature was that they were communists, not that they were atheists.|
|No professional area (except possibly law) has been more complicit in the subtle spreading of atheistic/anti-Christian attitudes than the mass media. To take one of countless examples, the way that the media covered Jim Jones and the Jonestown tragedy is a classic case in point. (Link)||Here he goes, right on cue, bashing the Biased Liberal Media.|
|The “reverend" Jim Jones was nobody’s idea of a devout Christian. He was a rabid Far Left ideologue who preached Marxism, sent church donations to communist Russia, and led his congregation in singing the Russian Soviet anthem, as they all committed suicide under gun point by drinking cyanide-laced Kool-Aid. In addition, some of Jones’ followers killed several people connected with a fact-finding mission to Jonestown—including Congressman Leo Ryan. (The recent shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona notwithstanding, Ryan remains the only member of Congress “killed in action”).
Far Left insanity all the way—and nary a peep from our stalwart media “watchdogs” about any of it. Instead they spread the lie that Jones was exclusively a religious nut; a Christian religious nut. How many other lies do you think “we the people” have been spoon fed by the various media venues (magazines, newspapers, TV, movies, et al.)? (Link) (Link)||Mr. O'Neill is missing one crucial point here: Jones was able to use Christianity as a vehicle to push his far-left insanity.|
|Given our country’s Judeo/Christian roots, and the deplorable state of our culture, perhaps now would be a good point to retrench, and then move forward with Christian values—and I don’t mean any of the various watered-down and perverted Far Left versions of faux “Christianity,” with their talk of social justice, collective salvation, and moral relativism. (Link)||Ironically, social justice, as preached by many churches today, is an anti-communist idea.|
|Perhaps now would be an opportune time to reinvigorate, rethink, and at the same time rediscover, Christianity. To have a sort of “spring cleaning.” God, the “Ancient of Days,” is after all also the “Wonder Child”—ever new, fresh, and bursting with inspiration and power. The word “God” is more of a verb than a noun, and God is forever now.||What does all this mean? How is God a verb? “Christians should God this.“ Alternatively, “Atheists don’t God things properly”? Come on, God is a noun, not a verb.|
|Although Jesus certainly promoted doing good for others—no other religion’s spiritual avatar changed their environment, “the way things are,” like Him—His main emphasis was on changing oneself.
He told the Power Elites of His day (“blind guides who strain out a gnat, but swallow a camel”), that they should stop focusing on what’s outside of themselves, and start focusing on, and improving, what’s on the inside. In addition, as Paul wrote, “the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” Atheists know nothing of the Spirit, hence the vast burden of laws and regulations Progressives have imposed on “we the people.”||The Middle East would beg to differ with the implication that Muhammad didn't change his environment. Muhammad converted Saudi Arabia to his new religion and began the conquest of large parts of the Old World. If that doesn't constitute changing one's environment, it's hard to imagine what is.|
|Atheists, who have no stable internal moral compass, always tend toward wanting to fix what they perceive as being wrong with YOU, and because their own spirits are stunted and atrophied because of their lack of working on their inner selves, they generally have scant comprehension of personal integrity, and therefore believe that they must regulate everything (and everyone) from the outside. (Link)||It is extremely ironic that Mr. O'Neill should be criticizing atheists for imposing excessive outward regulation on people; Puritans (and Methodists, to a lesser degree) are the ones who are well-known for promoting laws to do just that. Atheists, by contrast, have been heavily involved in campaigns to repeal such laws (e.g., sodomy laws).|
|I’ve become convinced that the Far Left, and even moderate liberals to a lesser extent, suffer from a mental pathology—one of the symptoms being projection/transference—where they project onto those that they disagree with the very qualities that they themselves possess, such as intolerance, elitism, and arrogance (or its marginally less annoying cousin—smugness). (Link)||What does one call psychological projection exhibited when talking about psychological projection?|
|No doubt some are also simply using transference as a ploy to take attention off of their own behavior. In any event, attributing to others their own faults is an irritating (at times extremely so) and widespread trait among the left-wing. It ties in with the atheistic credo of protecting the ego (and its positionalities) at all costs.||Note that Mr. O'Neill neglects to provide any examples of left-wing atheists who have done this. On the other hand, there are many such examples among the right-wing Christian set; these days they tend to center around the particular question of sexuality, where people who are perverts according to their own professed standards rail against "sexual immorality." On this list are a large number of televangelists, Larry Craig, Mark Foley, Newt Gingrich, Ted Haggard, etc., etc.
On the other hand, that reviled left-wing figure, Bill Clinton, who took a lot of guff for his adulterous activities, was not known for being an anti-adultery crusader.|
|Because atheism’s bedrock foundation is senseless, amoral nihilism, the best they can do for a code of conduct is to ape Christian ethics and morals in order to cloak their barbaric core with a semblance of civility.||As atheists expend many words on criticizing Christian morals, with many of them even citing the inferior nature of these morals as the reason they left Christianity for atheism, this accusation is false on its face.
Nevertheless, it is quite an ironic one: as Mr. O'Neill himself noted, when Christianity was altered from a Jewish sect into a religion aimed primarily at Gentiles, the whole of Biblical law was pitched out the window. A compromise at the Council of Jerusalem left only four prohibitions, as recounted in Acts 15:20: meat sacrificed to pagan deities, meat from strangled animals, blood, and fornication. This eventually required that the Christians "ape," as Mr. O'Neill puts it, a fair number of ancient Greco-Roman moral ideas and customs.
An example of such a rip-off is marriage. It is a common observation today that the divinely ordained institution of marriage is reserved for one man and one woman. The Jews, however, did not record receipt of any divine memorandum on that subject (see, e.g., Exodus 21:10 and Deuteronomy 25:5-9), while Roman law prescribed strict monogamy; polygamous Jews had to get special exemptions for their domestic arrangements. Later, Christians made monogamy their own, putting some strains on the Biblical text to make it fit.
|Atheism cares only about atheism. When history doesn’t suit atheists, they rewrite history. When logic fails them they deconstruct logic. When science fails them they ridicule science. When reason itself fails them, they savage reason. (Link)||While atheists have done these things, it was not on account of their atheism. Nor are Christians (or any other religious group) wholly innocent of this sort of thing, as noted immediately above.|
|Atheists attempt to destroy anything and everything that gets in their way, and at the end of the day stand revealed as the deluded slaves of ego that they are. I for one am way past being sick and tired of their willful destruction of America’s morality, ethics, and honor. They can go live in whatever benighted, vile, Godforsaken country they want, but leave America alone! Enough already! (Link)||Many of those "benighted, vile, Godforsaken countries" (the Scandinavian countries, for example) are noted for being the very model of high and equitable living standards.|
|In any event, I trust that those of you with open minds will hopefully see the truth in what I’ve written. Those whose minds have been sealed shut by atheism generally need a catastrophic occurrence in their personal lives for them to leave the comfortable, if stagnant, confines of their egoic prison, and so see the light.||Way to poison the well, Jim!|
|To “conservative” atheists I say “get with the program people.” You are either part of the solution, or part of the problem, and if you believe in the Godless nihilism of materialistic atheism then you are definitely part of the problem. I’m not saying that you need to be born again—simply conceding that there just may be a God, and you aren’t it, would be a good start.||This footnote is the only place in which Mr. O'Neill addresses the obvious fact that not only are not all atheists moonbats, but not all moonbats are atheists.|
|Laus Deo.||Latin: "Praise to God."|