23 February 2009

Militant Atheism

Sorry for the dearth of posts over the last week. I've been traveling (NYC) and will be traveling some more this week. I'll be in DC for a little research and a whole lotta CPAC.

For those who don't know, CPAC is the big, yearly, conservative get-together. I'm going to try and blog it the way I did the RNC, as there will be lots and lots of good conservative speakers. If you're in the area and plan to attend, shoot me an email and we'll meet-up. I'm hoping for a little face-time with Mitt and my blogger-hero, Mr. Ace O'Spades.

In the meantime, here's a fantastic quote from Dinesh D'Souza about "evangelical atheists." These are the people who claim to not believe, but actively try to persuade people to not believe the way they do.
Atheists spend a lot of time thinking about the motives for belief. Why do religious people believe these ridiculous things? When you turn the tables on atheists and ask them why they don't believe, they will answer, "Because we don't have enough evidence. We don't believe because there's no proof." But if you think about it, this is an inadequate explanation, because if you truly believe that there is no proof for God, then you're not going to bother with the matter. You're just going to live your life as if God isn't there.

I don't believe in unicorns, so I just go about my life as if there are no unicorns. You'll notice that I haven't written any books called The End of the Unicorn, Unicorns Are Not Great, or The Unicorn Delusion, and I don't spend my time obsessing about unicorns. What I'm getting at is that you have these people out there who don't believe that God exists, but who are actively attempting to eliminate religion from society, setting up atheist video shows, and having atheist conferences. There has to be more going on here than mere unbelief.

If you really look at the motivations of contemporary atheists, you'll find that they don't even really reject Christian theology. It's not as if the atheist objects to the resurrection or the parting of the sea; rather, it is Christian morality to which atheists object, particularly Christian moral prohibitions in the area of sex. The atheist looks at all of Christianity's "thou shalt nots"—homosexuality is bad; divorce is bad; adultery is bad; premarital sex is bad—and then looks at his own life and says, "If these things are really bad, then I'm a bad guy. But I'm not a bad guy; I'm a great guy. I must thus reinterpret or (preferably) abolish all of these accusatory teachings that are putting me in a bad light."

Ace's commentary is also right on.
I would say more that Evangelical Atheists' zeal for fresh converts is due to their reductivist and juvenile thinking, wishing to reduce most of human evil to one underlying cause, religion. Take away religion and we live in a utopia.

I rather doubt that. I think the fault lies with us and not in the stars, or the god beyond the stars. People do all sorts of bad things and they hardly need religion as their motivation for doing so.

My experience with atheists in the academy (not as many as you might think) pretty well reflects D'Souza & Ace's.

That, and they always hate when you point out that the "great" atheist movements of the 20th century--Soviet Russia (specifically Stalin), Hitler's Germany, Communist China, the Khmer Rouge (really, I could go on)--have killed millions more than the reductivist-ly-argued, religion-motivated deaths of any or all centuries.

Take away religion--specifically, Christianity/Judaism--and the morality taught by these religions and the world becomes a pretty sucky place--do unto others, before they do unto you.

If you have tips, questions, comments or suggestions, email me at lybberty@gmail.com.