Cross-posted at God Is For Suckers!
I ran across this fellow here at Pharyngula. So I began puttering about the site, seeing just exactly who this cat is, and what he was about.
I found it terribly odd, that his logo was 'Friend of Atheism', and yet in a post time-stamped November 16, 2007, he refers to himself as a 'Forty Year Atheist'. Strange, but I shrugged and forged onwards.
What I found, was...intriguing. Not very friendly, I might add. (I found it semi-irksome that he spells atheism with a capital 'A', as if it is some sort of religion, when nothing could be further from the truth).
Here's a brief snippet:
As an Atheist for 40 years, I noticed that there is not just a wide variety of Atheist positions, but there exists an actual battle between certain Atheist factions. I determined to expand my previously feeble knowledge of the subject, and to analyze what I found to be the positions of my fellow Atheists, using only the principles of logic and rational thought.
I will return to this shortly, as it will tie the threads together.
First and foremost, I believe the correct terminology is 'Retreat behind scholarship'. This is a standard tactic: surround a central thesis with so much material, that if you attempt to critique any sort of point in an effort at brevity, it can easily be misconstrued as a strawman. Of course, a good quote to apply here is ""The more you say, the less people remember. The fewer the words, the greater the profit." - Francois FeNelon
Our 'friend' here is...well, pretty much a pauper in the war of words then.
I'm going to make an effort to nutshell most of this - and our overly sensitive buddy will no doubt holler about 'ad hominem' attacks, logical fallacies, and any other abuses this self-styled Vulcan will accuse me of. Be assured, gentle reader, that I went to dine at his table without presupposition: I came away with a bad taste in my mouth. Masquerades are better suited for Halloween and costume balls, not philosophy.
This'll be longer than I like - but in the interests of 'honesty', I'll fisk away. Bear with me:
Unlike, say, Buddhism, Atheism has almost all of these features. Let’s expand each worldview component to see how Atheism fits:
1. Cognition of reality, and levels (Godelian) of reality:
a. Natural essence (First Principles of existence and truth)
Atheism is first and foremost Naturalist and Materialist. For now, we will assume that the Atheist accepts the First Principles of existence and truth.
He defines this elsewhere. Let's lay out the terms here. Truth is defined as: 1. Conformity to fact or actuality, 2. A statement proven to be or accepted as true, 3. Sincerity; integrity, 4. Fidelity to an original or standard, 5.
a. Reality; actuality.
b. often Truth That which is considered to be the supreme reality and to have the ultimate meaning and value of existence.
Existence is defined as - "The fact or state of existing; being."
I might also add, that Gödel's second incompleteness theorem states that "If an axiomatic system can be proven to be consistent and complete from within itself, then it is inconsistent." While this is primarily applied to mathematics, evolution (small capital) falls squarely under this umbrella.
b. Intuitive essence (First level of validation)
By accepting the First Principles of existence and truth, by default the Atheist affirms the existence of intuition, which is the means for validation of the innate truth of the First Principles. This will produce stress for the Atheist, who might deny the concept of intuition, but who will exercise intuition by accepting the materialism of the First Principles. This produces a violation of the second First Principle: a paradox, within which the Atheist lives.
I've personally never had a problem with intuition - most folks don't. I think of it as an amalgamation of experiences processed via the five senses. In fact, I'd bet anyone who's been around children can attest to the fact that most kids don't do intuition in their early lives. Otherwise, we wouldn't have to teach them not to run with scissors, that the burner is too hot to touch (burnt hand teaches best, I always say), or that look of complete confusion when they do something that's completely counter-intuitive (if you have kids, you know exactly what I'm talking about).
c. Spiritual essence (Second level of validation)
Atheism will specifically deny any spiritual essence. This denial becomes part of the Atheist Statement of Faith, coming up.
Denial? If you mean 'some supernatural unseen derivative force manipulating my thoughts so I do the right thing', hell yes, I deny it. Got proof?
Here's where it starts reading like a Thomas Aquinas tract, with a few Jack Chick homilies tossed in:
Evolution is the Origin Story of Atheism. It is the Atheist’s ABSOLUTE Truth, unassailable, unquestionable cant; dogma. It is manipulated into forms for explaining not only the cosmos, life, and human origins, but also the origin of morality, and anything else that had an origin.
I'm still waiting for a better explanation: none is forthcoming. One-hundred-and-fifty odd years on, it stands the test of time, empiricism, and scientific inquiry.
b. Purpose of Life Story
Life is a random accident according to the absolutist dogma of Evolution. Atheism therefore sees absolutely no purpose to life beyond the perpetuation of one’s own genes, as natural selection occurs. So the sole purpose of life is genetic self perpetuation. Denial of this sole purpose leads to other paradoxes.
Balderdash. I've gone into this foolishness here - semantical games are so tiresome. Oh wait...here's a good quote from one of our 'high priests': "Evolution has no long-term goal. There is no long-distance target, no final perfection to serve as a criterion for selection, although human vanity cherishes the absurd notion that our species is the final goal of evolution."
c. Value of Life Story
Again, life being a random accident according to absolutist Evolution cant, life has no value; there are no values in a randomly assembled world. The evolutionist claim of evolved morality is not accepted by many Atheists. Some claim that human value is in procreation; others claim that value is found only in the ability to produce. So life, by itself, has no inherent value, and eugenics can (and has) become a “legitimate” topic.
So I've pulverized the 'accident' theory, both semantically as well as philosophically: but apparently, we need some mysterious 'other' who is basically untouchable, doesn't talk to us, and we're supposed to have some 'relationship' with? Blogger, puh-lease. So make your own damn purpose. Also relying heavily on the pejorative term of 'eugenics': there's negative eugenics (as practiced by the Nazis), and transhumanism (positive) eugenics.
d. “Becoming” Story
The evolution of life to produce the evolutionist is the “becoming” story. There is nothing else to become, once one has naturally materialized, so to speak. However, “becoming” an Atheist is seen as total liberation from annoying moral restrictions, and restrictions of any kind including western, rational, non-contradictory thought. There is a thought that humans will evolve into something higher-ordered, becoming a race of super-humans. However there is absolutely no sign of such a genetic lineage so far.
I don't know where to begin with this. First up, the 'liberation' is from some obnoxious Iron age moral code that's an anachronism. Secondly, evolution doesn't progress in a straight line. 'Super-human'? Is he kidding? Read many X-men comics? I might refer the logorrheic author to the concept of telos.
e. Afterlife Story
With nothing else to become, once the spark of life has gone there is nothing left but the material fodder for worms (M.M.O’Hair).
Hey, I'm not a big fan of this, but reality is what it is. Unless of course he's channeling the afterlife through a Ouija board. Or, as Asimov put it so succinctly: "So the universe is not quite as you thought it was. You'd better rearrange your beliefs, then. Because you certainly can't rearrange the universe."
2. Statements of Belief
a. Statement of Faith (Non-negotiable)
The dogma of Evolution is taken on 100% faith as follows; faith that there is no other possible position; faith that “science” will find all the answers; faith in the [irrational] connections drawn between supposed “ancestors”; faith in the supremacy of the mind of man.
Still waiting for an alternate explanation. Oh, whoops. Excuse me.
A Faith Statement might be as follows:
I have complete, non-negotiable FAITH in the following tenets:
· Faith that the supreme intelligence in the universe is me, embodied in my mind.
'Supreme intelligence'? Is he serious, folks? What's the criterion for 'supreme', anyways? Define intelligence, please.
· Faith that the appearances of design are false.
Look up the word pareidolia, please.
· Faith that the first life self-assembled from warm chemicals in goo.
· Faith that the universe is a self-induced, random occurrence.
· Faith that a “multiverse” that we can’t see is a rationale for a random universe producing life (Anthropic principle is false).
String theory's all nice, but unprovable. See here for my take on that.
· Faith that my mind is an assembly of random mutations, with no actual purpose beyond survival of the fittest. (A Meat Machine). Even so, it is the supreme intelligence in the universe.
The mutations are random, but the rest of it's not. 'Survival of the fittest' is actually yet another anachronism.
· Faith that the brain and the mind are one thing, inseparable.
Umm...since a lobotomy can seriously alter my personality, this is just a homunculus - which is described by the dictionary of philosophy as "A small person. A bad idea in the philosophy of mind is to explain a person's agency, or intelligence, or experience, as if there were a smaller agent, or intelligent thing, or experiencing subject ‘inside the head’. But homuncular functionalism decomposes complex functions into simpler ones, thereby avoiding the obvious regress."
· Faith that there is no intelligence in DNA.
Again, define 'intelligence'.
· Faith that if I can’t sense it, it does not exist. (No metaphysical existence).
Duh, yeah. Argument from ignorance.
· Faith that empiricism is the one and only true path to all-encompassing Truth and Enlightenment.
Let's call it 'confidence', shall we? Is there some other method that works in a lab? I call this the 'argument from capitalization' - atheism, capital A, truth, capital T, etc.
· Faith in Evolution, which is unquestionable; it is non-negotiable truth. See “Heresy”, below.
Everything is questionable. Problem is, it's hard to separate the 'facts' from the 'truth' (as demonstrated in my earlier definition).
· Faith that, because Evolution is non-negotiable truth, life has no meaning.
Covered this already.
· Faith that after death there are only worms.
It's fact. I don't like it. But my preferences don't change the matter.
Here's where it gets a little nutty:
b. Statement of Ethos
Anyone familiar with Jeffrey Dahmer, Madelyn Murray O’Hair, or Peter Singer will realize that the ethical code of Atheism is “Any Code I Desire” (A.C.I.D.) In fact any code that benefits me, right now, at this very moment. The code is total Narcissism.
In my book, anyone who invokes Dahmer is out the window. Here's a clown who drilled holes into kidnap victim's heads to turn them into love slaves, fer cryin' out loud. And when feet are held to the fire, every sociopath blames something in society. And for pity's sake, he was raised in a fundamentalist family. At 14, he was killing small animals and putting their heads on stakes. If anything, he was NOT THE POSTER CHILD for religious upbringing.
The rhetoric that follows is just ludicrous:
c. Statement of Heresy
The fight for the minds of school children is in fact a battle to eliminate heresy from the religious world of Atheism by means of governmentally-enforced installation of the Sacred Text of absolutist Darwinism into the schools. Referral to a second Godellian level of validation (spirituality) is heresy to the Atheist, who will take it as a serious affront to the Atheist Faith. So the exclusive installation of the sacred Precepts of absolutist Darwinism into the minds of children is imperative.
Yeah, whatever this guy claims to be, a 'friend to atheism' is obviously a lie. Let's disregard the mountains of forensic evidence: let's discount the repeatable, testable hypotheses implemented in the process: let's dispute every niggling detail and dismiss everything in toto. It's all a big conspiracy drafted up by the evilutionists (bu-hu-hahahahaha!) to pollute our childrens' precious bodily fluids! (It's hard not to descend into mockery - this guy's just rife with so...much..cognitive...dissonance.)
d. Statement of the Sacrosanct
Naturalism, and Materialism are sacred Beliefs. Empiricism and Forensics are the Sacred Rituals. Absolutist Evolution is Sacred Truth, unquestionable and therefore sacred dogma.
My irony meter's in the shop, or it'd explode right about now.
e. Statement of Evangelism
Evangelism is highly organized and fatly funded; the ACLU and Planned Parenthood have been government funded to the tune of millions. Evangelism is done primarily by threat, just as is Wahabi Islam; it is a form of domestic terrorism. A heretic is threatened with financial ruin by litigation by the fattened Atheist Evangelists. However, indoctrination is already state-imposed in many public school systems. The next generation is under constant evangelistic siege.
Somebody's been taking WorldNutDaily way too seriously. Comparing atheists to terrorists now? The mind boggles. Wonder if he votes Democrat? I'd bet the rent not.
f. Statement of Evil
As with any cult, evil is seen everywhere in the form of other religious faiths. In a stunning twist of logic, the purveyors of the ethical code that protects the Atheist (Christianity, the Bible and the Ten Commandments) are deemed evil. And any attack on the Sacred Precepts of Absolutist Darwinism are evil. The credo is that “science is not to be corrupted by the inroads of ’religion’ in the classroom”. So the denial of the next Godel level and the internal Type 2 (b) paradox are institutionalized.
Oh, so now we're the thought police? Is this guy serious? Does he poke a stick under a rock, and find a conspiracy there?
a. High Priests
The celebrity scientists and philosophers clearly are the high priests of Atheism: Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking, Stephen J. Gould, Bertrand Russell, Theodore Dobzhansky, Carl Sagan, celebrities all. In politics, Marx, Stalin, Hitler, Mao. In the media, pick a channel; in Hollywood, pick a movie star; in the U.S. Senate, pick a Kennedy or a Clinton.
Oh, wow. Just, wow. High priests? The invidious 'celebrities' are in on it too? And of course, he plays the 'evil atheist dictator' card. Hitler, an atheist? The guy who banned books on evolution? The same guy who said,
"For this, to be sure, from the child's primer down to the last newspaper, every theater and every movie house, every advertising pillar and every billboard, must be pressed into the service of this one great mission, until the timorous prayer of our present parlor patriots: 'Lord, make us free!' is transformed in the brain of the smallest boy into the burning plea: 'Almighty God, bless our arms when the time comes; be just as thou hast always been; judge now whether we be deserving of freedom; Lord, bless our battle!"
- Adolf Hitler's prayer, Mein Kampf, Vol. 2 Chapter 13"
This guilt by association crap is getting staler by the minute.
b. Teachers, evangelizers
The tool of Evolution, plus the duality of modern secularism has made most school teachers into evangelists for Atheism. The media of all types is also secularly dualist, and promotes not only Evolution, but all forms of corrupted thought that contributes to secularization.
Every young person on the way to college is a potential “becomer” for the Atheist evangelist to victimize. In fact, the inroads into lower schools made by Planned Parenthood operatives has made even first graders into to potential candidates to victimize.
So now Planned Parenthood is recruiting kids? Holy shit, we're everywhere! Plotting the demise of Western Civilization! (He said, pulling at his handlebar mustache, while tying the damsel in distress to a railroad track.) How absolutely vaudevillian.
5. Sacred Legacies
a. Texts, documents, unquestionable absolute truths.
The theory of Evolution, being the only hope for the Atheist, is the holiest of absolute, unquestionable truths. In fact, by way of contradiction and paradox, the completely relativistic universe of the Atheist is interrupted by one Holy, Absolute, Unquestionable, Unassailable Truth: Evolution.
Still waiting for an alternative that doesn't espouse exogenesis, or 'goddidit'.
Without Evolution, the Atheist has no logic at all because everything else in the Atheist world is relative; only Evolution is Absolute Truth. With Evolution, the Atheist need only deny a few details here and there, such as in Darwin’s Dodge, and Darwin’s Horrid Doubt, along with the other Darwinian falsifications (Coming up in the Chapter on Evolution). Then all the rest of life is free of all restrictions.
So we're all moral relativists? I've actually dismissed this as a cheap generalization: apparently I'm not the only one. And claiming that moral relativists are vested in an 'absolute truth' (I'll skip the capitalization: it's quite obnoxious) is such an oxymoron, it crosses the eyes.
So Atheism satisfies the criteria for religion-hood. In fact it’s a better fit than some other religions, such as Buddhism. Atheism is the religion of self, of narcissism.
Mixing and matching - this guy's a theist, just from these babblings alone.
So later on, this fella goes on to say the following:
Catch #1: Moral Honesty Benchmark:
An Atheist who claims to be morally honest is making that claim in a personal environment where there are no absolute morals (premise (c)), and thus no reliable benchmark. So without a moral benchmark to measure honesty, he is not honest in his claim to be so. Such a benchmark would have to be determined at higher Godel level to be valid; a higher level would be outside the environment of the Atheist’s supreme mind, and thus not recognized by the Atheist. However if he admits dishonesty, he is still without a benchmark to measure it, and the admission of dishonesty is dishonest. So he is caught in a paradox of perpetual dishonesty, Type 2 (b).
Catch #2: Intellectual Honesty:
If an atheist is to claim intellectual honesty, then he must admit that he cannot be morally honest in the absence of a benchmark for measuring moral honesty. But he cannot, without being caught in the previous paradox, producing another paradox of Type 1.
Catch #3: Co-opting Benchmarks:
If, on the other hand, the atheist claims moral honesty based on cultural (external, non-Atheist) standards for honesty, then he has to admit that he is co-opting benchmarks that are outside his beliefs, such as Judeo-Christian ethics. This is, of course, dishonest. (Especially when taking some ethical precepts, while rejecting others in order to favor certain predilections such as homosexuality, sexual paganism and abortion, etc). He is co-opting another Godel level, which he has already rejected. This contradiction produces a paradox of Type 1, and Type 2 (b).
Catch #4: Creating Benchmarks:
When making up benchmarks, or claiming that they evolved, the Atheist is confirming that there are no absolute benchmarks. Again claiming any kind of honesty without a firm benchmark is dishonest.
Thus, no matter which way it is turned, the sphere of atheism reflects an image of dishonesty, either intellectual, moral or both.
Therefore, a claim of honesty, either moral or intellectual, by an Atheist is a logical paradox, type 1 and type 2(b).
Didja catch all that? In summation: all atheists are liars. Where'd he purchase this thing, at the Paradoxical Pretzel shop? I call trilemma! I mean, this bozo invokes Gödel, famous for his incompleteness theorems? Does he tie this into that nonsense about the Uncaused Cause? (I haven't dug around for it, truthfully, because there's only so much casuistry I can stomach, folks.)
Let's tick the fallacies off:
The Frozen Abstraction (atheism as a religion), False cause (atheism is dishonest, immoral, based on the weak premise that evolution is completely wrong) better known as post hoc ergo propter hoc, Weak analogy (argument from design), Equivocation (Truth AND Existence, capitalized), the Tu quoque, oh hell, I could go on for days, but if we were to actually never use any fallacy whatsoever, chances are pretty good there'd be no dialogues at all.
Icing on the cake time, troops:
So let's backtrack a bit: remember this, at the beginning?
As an Atheist for 40 years, I noticed that there is not just a wide variety of Atheist positions, but there exists an actual battle between certain Atheist factions.
So, culling the aforementioned quote and synchronizing it with the preceding blockquoted paragraph, I have this to ask:
You were a dishonest, immoral A-theist for forty years, by your own words. Why should we believe you now? Do spare us the 'mine eyes have seen the light!' bit.
Final amateur armchair psychologist diagnosis - all hail, the Pretender! I for one am getting more than a little tired of these folks who swing full tilt from one extreme to the next, devoid of the self-awareness that this is likely a bi-polar disorder, rather than a moment of extreme enlightenment.
I'm all for someone changing their minds, and explaining it duly. But this bit of drivel is enough to cross the eyes and make the knees all wobbly.
Hope you enjoyed this vaudevillian bit of Sock Puppet Theater. Can't say that I did.
This is the Apostate, signing off.