How can anyone take Richard Dawkins seriously these days?

‘Priestly groping of child bodies is disgusting. But it may be less harmful in the long run than priestly subversion of child minds.’
Source: http://richarddawkins.net/articles/118

When the awful abuse of kids in the Catholic church is considered “less harmful” than Christian upbringing, then you know your atheism has gone way out of hand and you have lost your final touch with reality. The statement is naive and ignorant, butmore importantly, it’s deeply disrespectful to anyone who has suffered sexual abuse.

Also, I cannot help but ask, ‘Is Dawkins a humanist?’ For all his faith in “human reason” and his own “brightness”, how come he is so scared of indoctrination? I mean, one would think that such faith in human reason would also entail the assumption that even the most severe cases of brainwashing can be cured through logic. After all, the New Atheists tend to think that humans are smart enough to explain all encounters in naturalistic terms. (I remember Hitchens stating something like, ‘We don’t know everything about the universe yet, but we’re getting close.’) I think what Dawkins is really saying is that he and his brothers of disbelief are the only ones who manages to think for themselves. This sort of arrogant “cognocentric” attitude is clearly getting worse.

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I wish more Atheists were like this one

Penn Jillette is well-known comedian and magician known from TV along with his collegue, Teller. I have to admit that I don’t know these guys very well, though I’ve seen a couple of episodes of the “Bullshit” show. Apparently, Jillette is an outspoken Atheist (he believes there is no god). But what I really like about him is that he welcomes religious people and show a kind of understanding that is rarely find among Atheists as far as I’ve experienced.

Reductio ad ridiculum

One of the logical fallacies that really tend to characterize the the New Atheists is the one called “reductio ad ridiculum”. (There’s really no reason to call it by its Latin name except it sounds awesome and gains respect.) You’ll recognize one of the words as the parent of the English ridicule and ridiculous. New Atheists fail to describe faith in a way which does not look overtly ridiculous. The Old Atheists of the past might have been able to, but not these new ones – to them, it’s the most significant part of their opposition.

Most of Christopher Hitchens’ arguments rest on this falacy, and I’m reminded of that in every single one of his debates. He succeeds in describing theological ideas in ways that would make any sane person laugh and say, ‘O God almighty, what a ridiculous thing to believe!’ In the debate with his brother quite a few years ago, he made believing listeners among the audience admit that they are “sheep”, and in every debate he has a go at the doctrine of atonement, making it appear as if God is a madman who felt like torturing his son to death rather than just forgive.

Of course, no sane Christian would say such a thing. The objections would come quite naturally because these are the thing that are preached in all churches: “Jesus was more than willing to give his life! God didn’t bluntly decide that sacrifice was necessary, that’s just how the universe works! Hitchens’ understanding of the term “son” is way too literal, every Bible scholar would agree that “son” is perhaps one of the least significant of Jesus’ titles – and it’s worthwile considering that he is just as much God as the Father is, and the whole idea of the atonement can be said to be just as much his as the Father’s. And God the Father suffered with him right there!” These details would all have to be included in the Christian understanding of the matter, and it changes the whole nature of the phenomenon.

Of course, an apologist would never bother to explain this theology to Christopher Hitchens. Because, frankly, it’s not the point. His portrayal only goes to show that he doesn’t care how Christians would define their faith. His concern is not to argue against the beliefs as they are defined by the believers, but to make it look ridiculous to push his own anti-theistic agenda among the seekers. And so likewise, his friend Dawkins doesn’t really care if anyone actually believes there’s a tea cup flying in orbit around the earth or any other planet. (Of course, nobody ever would believe that.) And a lot of Atheists don’t care if anyone actually believes in the “big spaghetti monster”; they’ll happily reduce any kind of supernatural intelligence to a mixture of food with eyes.

Their concern is not with what people believe at all, despite all their efforts to make false claims about it. They’re distorting theology only to push their own beliefs on the listeners. They’re distracting people, confusing them and making them laugh only to win sympathy – but most significantly, they’re doing it to avoid people from realizing that they can’t argue against the actual beliefs held by Christians.

When grace is rightly explained and the gospel is proclaimed the way Christians would proclaim it, that’s when Atheists feel threatened. After all, it’s much easier to argue against the fairies and the unicorns than the unconditional love of Christ.

A word on Expertise

What expertise can theologians bring to deep cosmological questions that scientists cannot?

That’s what Richard Dawkins asked on page 79 in his book called “The GOD Delusion”.

Now, theology comes from two words, theo (God) and logos (word, message, teaching). So theology is basically the study of God. Richard Dawkins is a biologist. Biology comes from bios (life) and logos (word, message, teaching). He is not a cosmologist, and he is certainly not a trained theologian (even if he teaches a disturbing kind of theology).

Having considered this, read the quote again. Do you notice something? He carefully picked the word, scientist, to give you some weird impression that he—being a biologist—is somehow a tiny bit more capable of understanding the grand universe outside the boundaries of Earth than do a theologian. What is more appalling is, however, that he as a biologist wrote this book on theology—well yes, that’s what it is, when you claim God is a bastard that doesn’t exist—and yet the deep irony of his statement never even occurred to him (he is neither cosmologist nor theologian, yet has strong opinions about both areas).

It would seem this happens to be another doctrine of the New Atheist Church:
We’re basically experts on everything.

Some atheists: If you’re religious, you shouldn’t even be remembered

“An atheist organization is blasting the U.S. Postal Service for its plan to honor Mother Teresa with a commemorative stamp, saying it violates postal regulations against honoring "individuals whose principal achievements are associated with religious undertakings."”
Source: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,584165,00.html

This is just crazy. But I guess that reveals the corrupted opinions that the Freedom from Religion Foundation stands for. They basically believe that religious freedom is about ignoring and shh’ing on every religious person who ever walked this planet to pretend they never existed. ‘See no religious, hear no religious, speak no religious.’ That’s not freedom at all; that’s secular tyranny – and it’s freaking scary that modern people of the Western society can endorse such crazy views! What kind of society tries to rewrite history like that? I just wish more of the sane atheists would speak up against this kind of madness…

Why should CHRISTIANS explain evil? Ask the ATHEISTS why don’t ya!

From an intellectual perspective, the “Problem of Evil” is a very strange attack coming from Atheists. Yet it used to be one of the most common ones. “How can you believe in a good God and the existence of evil at the same time?” The strangeness comes down to this: Atheists ultimately don’t believe in evil, that is, if they are consistent within their own godless world-view. Evil is not some universal definition. It’s just a word that we humans attribute to things that feels wrong due to the times we coincidentally happen to live in.

If there is nothing beyond what can be measured—which is the necessary conclusion of the philosophy proclaimed by the New Atheists—then surely there is no such thing as objective moral absolutes. Evil did not exist as such before humans started agreeing that certain acts could rightly be labelled as such for the sake of our own comprehension and temporal preferences. I say “temporal” because Nietsche expected that we’d someday move “beyond good and evil” seeing that these are mainly religious concepts.

Yet, this is the challenge that Atheists present: ‘Explain the existence of Evil.’ They may even ridicule the numerous explanations that Christians have come up with in the history of Western thought. ‘Does the “free will” really necessitate all those genocides and famines and natural disasters?’ Perhaps not, who can really know, but that is beside the point. Because even if it doesn’t, it will always be the better explanation compared to the completely nonsensical Atheist response: “Well, theoretically speaking, evil doesn’t really exist outside of our minds, so we don’t need to explain it…”

Instead of trying to come up with a philosophy of reality that accounts for all aspects of evil, I think Christians should turn the tables. How do Atheists account for it? Saying that there’s nothing to account for is simply avoiding the question. Additionally, it’s self-refuting seeing that they keep requiring Christians to account for the existence of that which they don’t believe exists themselves.

‘Oh, but that’s different! If Christians believe it exists, they can be challenged on the basis of that very claim!’ Well, everybody believes Evil exists. Ask a random person on the street, ‘Would you say that the holocaust was truly evil?’ Ask him if he thinks that ‘it’s a matter of opinions?’ You really don’t need to dig that deep. Almost all people would agree from the outset: Some things are just pure evil! That’s what it means to be a moral person. Most people have morals to some extent, Atheists no exception. They know—and this kind of knowledge goes way beyond the empirical data—that some actions are just plain wrong and cannot possibly be justified by circumstances.

Now, if everybody agrees on the existence of something—the sky, New York, other minds—except those hardcore Atheists who are willing to say the most silly things to maintain a fallacious argument, then they are the ones who need to do some explaining! And I am confident that someday the loving judge will ask them to do just that.

The Irrational Atheist

A free E-BOOK has been made available on the topic of New Atheism. I love the approach of this book, and I love the sarcastic rhetoric of the author. I particularly like that the author is not really trying to argue for God, but is simply showing that these self-proclaimed “brights” are not that bright, after all. In his first chapter, he makes such a great point on why lots of believers are bothered with this new kind of Atheism:

‘All I ask, all the vast majority of the billions of people of faith on the planet ask, is to be left alone to believe what we choose to believe and live how we decide to live. But the Unholy Trinity have no intention of leaving me alone. Richard Dawkins accuses me of child abuse because I teach my children that God loves them even more than I do. Sam Harris declares that I should not be tolerated and suggests that it might be ethical to kill me in preemptive self-defense. Christopher Hitchens asserts that I am a form of human Drāno, poisoning everything I encounter.’ (“The Irrational Atheist”, p. 6.)

Exactly! Apologetics is not necessarily about convincing people that they should believe in Jesus Christ. Sometimes, it’s just about pointing out that we have the right to believe whatever we want! Thanks to Vox Day (that’s a funny name, btw) for writing this book and making it available to so many people.