Archive for March 7th, 2012

A Dark Cloud of Ignorance Envelopes Atheism

By Jerry A. Kane

Bend your ears boys and girls for another of Baron von Münch-Kane’s once-spun yarns and twice-told tales.

As a rule I don’t engage fools in their folly, but I have on occasions made exceptions for the sake of my former students. A case in point involves a former student who, “spurred on by the conviction that the world needed his immediate presence,” decided to tilt at the windmills of religion on facebook.

After his initial got-ya post by Jon Stewart, “Religion. It’s given people hope in a world torn apart by religion.” and my Tom Stoppard response “Atheism is a crutch for those who cannot bear the reality of God,” he grabbed his soap box and offered even more “windy blather and lies.”

[H]umans invented God; atheism isn’t about denying god’s existence, its about realizing that there is actually nothing to deny. The theory of God makes no sense. The universe didn’t have a starting, it has always existed, its infinite. And always expanding. Also, I don’t need God to tell me right from wrong….so it has nothing to do with accounting for your actions. God isn’t real, its a fairy tale…full of many holes. Sure its possible. But its also possible that God is an old smelly sneaker on the side of the road. I take no comfort in even toying with the notion that god might exist, because if he/she/it does exist, he/she/it does absolutely nothing to help us in anyway. Wars are started because of this crackpot theory of a big invisible dude in the sky that watches over everything and judges you when you do wrong things. Paranoid schizophrenics are people who believe invisible beings in their head actually exist and tell them what to do. If you hear voices in your head you need to see a shrink. It isn’t God talking to you, you’ve just come to the point where you can’t keep an open mind and refuse to listen to logical sense. The idea of God makes no logical sense. Humans are just random energy and particles, and the reason it seems perfect to us is because we have no frame of reference for anything besides our own lives. It really is just random energy. The universe obeys the laws of physics, not the laws of God. Organized religion is responsible for more hatred and bloodshed than any other issue we face. And remember, if God created everything, then something must have created god. So it doesn’t matter how you look at it, but your views on atheism are skewed. You are misinformed. You make it out to be a joke. The beliefs of an atheist are equally valid to any theists belief structure. The odds of there actually being a god like you describe are about 1 in 800,000,000,000,000. There will never be proof of God. There doesn’t have to be proof that God doesn’t exist for it to be a reality, since mankind created the idea of God. Organized religion is one of the biggest tragedies to fall upon the human race. And I feel bad for people who can’t open their mind enough to realize that NOBODY KNOWS ANYTHING. We don’t know how we got here and guess what….we never will. We will never have anything better than an educated guess. Blind faith is not an admirable trait. Religion is part of a system of control that keeps people from seeking truth.

Obviously “his brains dried up to such a degree that he lost the use of his reason.” But I was born “a target at which the arrows of adversary are aimed,” so I set out to remove that dark cloud of ignorance that had been cast over his understanding.

In the classroom I have tried to encourage students to think for themselves, not just parrot the opinions, beliefs, and prejudices of parents, peers, and professors, and to examine both sides of an issue for facts and supporting evidence before forming an opinion.

The assertions you use to support your atheist beliefs are quite revealing: humans created the idea of God; the universe didn’t have a beginning; the universe has always existed; the universe is infinite and always expanding; humans are random energy and particles, nothing more; God isn’t real; people who believe in God are mentally ill, and organized religion is responsible for most of the world’s hatred and bloodshed.

You realize of course that your postulates are based solely on faith, not fact. For example, your dogmatic assertions regarding the universe may well be true, but then again they may well be wrong. Scientists who contemplate such mighty themes have no way of knowing for sure what really went on at the birth of the universe or if there was a birth. How can they know for certain that the laws of physics they study on earth are the same laws as those that brought the universe into existence?

The truth is the theories regarding the origins of the universe belong to scientism, not science. And even though scientism is the belief of many renowned scientists, it is not a method of inquiry into our world; it is a philosophical interpretation of science and of the natural order. Scientism views only scientific claims as meaningful, which in fact is not a scientific claim; therefore, the claim itself is rendered either false or meaningless. Yet scientism preaches that science is the absolute, only justifiable access to the truth, thereby deifying science and making scientism the only true religion for the devoted smart set.

Some religions are monotheistic (Judaism, Christianity) i.e., they worship one God; others are polytheistic (Hinduism, Mormonism) i.e., they worship many gods; some are non-theistic (Jainism, Buddhism) i.e., they don’t recognize or worship a deity, and others are anti-theistic (atheists, new atheists) i.e., they ridicule the very idea of God or gods and advocate the end of religious worship and faith.

Loosely defined, religion is a freely chosen lifestyle with a structured set of rules. Clever denials do not disprove the fact that atheism is a religion. Although atheism may not fit your mold of a stereotypical religion, the US Supreme Court has recognized it as a religion nonetheless.

It has a theology that interprets everything through the lens of materialism. The natural world, which is comprised of purposeless, meaningless particles in motion, is all there is and all there ever will be.

It has a hardened orthodoxy—zealously embraced and parroted by the atheist community—that insists everything is the product of unintentional, undirected, purposeless evolution, and that all truth claims must be subject to scientific scrutiny.

It has prophets such as Ludwig Feuerbach, Karl Marx, Arthur Schopenhauer, and Friedrich Nietzsche who have proclaimed religion as an oppressive system of archaic mythologies used to control and manipulate people.

It has apostates such as Anthony Flew who was one of the world’s prominent atheists until he changed his mind. Atheist Richard Dawkins accused Flew of “tergiversation,” which is a rather pretentious way of saying that he deserted or abandoned the “true faith.”

It has a messiah, Charles Darwin, who provided both a comprehensive explanation of life without a supreme being as its cause or purpose and the way to liberation and freedom from religious tyranny.

It has a sacred text On the Origins of the Species by Charles Darwin, which serves as the foundation and the final “revelation” of the “true faith.”

It has a succession of popes that include Thomas Huxley, Bertrand Russell, and the current pope, Richard Dawkins, who issue decrees, make dogmas, excommunicate heretics, and denounce the enemies of the true faith.

It has well-known evangelists such as Carl Sagan, Christopher Hitchens, Paul Kurtz, and Daniel Dennett who proselytize the one true faith and proclaim the end of theism.

Atheism is a religion people join to appear smarter, and yet it’s not intelligence but faith that atheists need to embrace an evolutionary theory that doesn’t account for reasoning, self-awareness, consciousness, and a universal sense of right and wrong or explain why the universe is orderly, predictable, and measurable.

“We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn’t know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God. We see a universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws, but only dimly understand these laws. Our limited minds cannot grasp the mysterious force that moves the constellations.”—Albert Einstein

But what I find most disturbing in your attack on religion is that you think the people who believe in God are mentally ill, and that organized religion is responsible for the world’s ills.

You realize of course that the modern day atheist regimes have also branded religious believers as mentally ill, and have been the most murderous regimes in the history of the world. Atheist dictators Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, and Kim Il-sung imposed state sanctioned atheism and totalitarian control over their people in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the People’s Republic of China, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, respectively.

Atheist regimes have governed twenty-eight countries in world history and more than half of the ruling dictators have engaged in murderous acts of the sort committed by Stalin and Mao.  From 1917 through 2007 atheist dictators killed approximately 148 million people, three times more than the combined total of all the human beings killed by war, civil war, and individual crime in the twentieth century.

In the United States religious freedom is an inalienable human right, yet atheists persist in trying to control, suppress, and eliminate religion, but this is nothing new. For example, Thomas Paine, one of the great voices of the American Revolution, also wanted to excise religion from political discourse and opinion making. He attacked organized religion in general and Christianity in particular because he saw belief in a providential God as harmful to a free society. He once asked Benjamin Franklin to critique his polemic against faith in a God “that takes cognizance of, guards, and guides, and may favor particular persons.”

Franklin chided Paine for over reacting to a non-existent problem. “If men are so wicked with religion, what would they be if without it?” he asked Paine. Franklin understood that men are instinctively religious creatures and that religion has social benefits and enhances culture. He also knew that God, whether a man-made concept or real, represents that which cannot be controlled or comprehended, but unites people.

If you are right, then everything is just time and chance acting on matter. If thoughts are, as you say, just a series of chemical reactions, then tenderness, tragedy, and sorrow are meaningless abstractions, nothing more than chemical reactions of the brain, which means that saying I love you has no more significance than belching after a meal.

You sum up your screed by declaring “Nobody knows anything.” How can you know what you just admitted no human being can know, which is nobody knows anything? Your all-encompassing assertion includes you as well, so it is preposterous for you to assert that nobody knows anything when your assertion implies a degree of knowledge that you admit you don’t have. Congratulations, you are hoist by your own petard.

Even though God’s existence can be proved, you won’t find Him for the same reason that a thief can’t find a policeman. But if you apply the Socratic principle and “follow the evidence, wherever it leads” you will discover why Anthony Flew looked at the vastly complex information code in the mapping and sequencing of the DNA molecule and drew the conclusion “that intelligence must have been involved in getting these extraordinarily diverse elements together.”

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