Friday, October 10, 2008

Is Atheism a Religion?

[Author's note: originally from atheism-analyzed.net ; modified slightly, including formatting]
“Stephen Jay Gould launched a direct attack on religion thereby exposing the true religious nature of Darwinism. After quoting Psalm 8 "Thou has made him a little lower than the angels...thou madest him to have dominion...thou has put all things under his feet." Gould went on to state, "Darwin removed this keystone of false comfort more than a century ago, but many people still believe that they cannot navigate this vale of tears without such a crutch." Ending the article, Gould admonished his readers, "Let us praise this evolutionary nexus, a far more stately mansion for the human soul than any pretty or parochial comfort ever conjured by our swollen neurology to obscure the source of our physical being, or to deny the natural substrate for our separate and complementary spiritual quest."

Regarding Gould’s article in “Science”, 6-25-’99;

“High Priest of Evolution Reveals his Religion” Gary L. Achtemeier, Ph.D. (emphasis added).


What exactly constitutes “being a religion”? the internet has dozens, maybe hundreds of conflicting definitions for religion. Here is a fairly inclusive composite definition.

Religion is a complete worldview composed of some or all of the following elements that were discussed earlier in the Worldview section:

1. Cognition of essence of reality, and levels (Godelian) of reality:

a. Natural essence (First Principles of existence and truth)
b. Intuitive essence (First level of validation)
c. Spiritual essence (Second level of validation).


2. Stories concerning the essences:
a. Origin Story
1. Origin of the cosmos
2. Origin of life
3. Origin of man

b. Purpose of Life Story

c. Value of Life Story

d. “Becoming” Story

e. Afterlife / Beyond life Story


3. Statements of Belief

a. Statement of Faith (Non-negotiable)
b. Statement of Ethos
c. Statement of Heresy
d. Statement of The Sacrosanct
e. Statement of Evangelism
f. Statement of Evil
g. Statement of Apostacy


4. Hierarchy
a. High Priests
b. Teachers, evangelizers
c. Becomers


5. Sacred Legacies
a. Texts, documents, unquestionable absolute truths.

The Atheist Worldview
Unlike, say, Buddhism, Atheism has almost all of these features. Let’s expand each worldview component to see how Atheism fits:

Cognition of reality, and levels (Godelian) of reality:

a. Natural essence (First Principles of existence and truth)
Atheism is first and foremost Naturalist and Philosophical Materialist. For now, we will assume that the Atheist accepts the First Principles of existence and truth.

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.

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.

Stories concerning the essences:
a. Origin Story

i. Origin of the cosmos

ii. Origin of life

iii Origin of man

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.

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.

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.

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 generally includes total liberation from annoying moral restrictions (Huxley), and restrictions of any kind including western, rational, non-contradictory thought (Nietzsche) [see paradox examples in preceding chapters]. There is a thought that humans will evolve into something higher-ordered, becoming a race of super-humans (Nietzsche). However there is absolutely no sign of such a genetic lineage so far.

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). Philosophical Materialism demands that the mind is the brain and nothing else (Minsky's meat machine); when the brain dies, the mind dies (Monism). Philosophical Materialism also demands the non-existence of non-material dimensions, entities and human spirituality.

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 connections extrapolated between supposed “ancestors”; faith in the supremacy of the mind of man; faith in Philosophical Materialism as a limit to reality.

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.

· Faith that the appearances of design are false.

· 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).

· 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.

· Faith that the brain and the mind are one thing, inseparable.

· Faith that there is no intelligence in DNA.

· Faith that if I can’t sense it, it does not exist. (No metaphysical existence).

· Faith that empiricism is the one and only true path to all-encompassing Truth and Enlightenment.

· Faith in Evolution, which is unquestionable; it is non-negotiable truth. See “Heresy”, below.

· Faith that, because Evolution is non-negotiable truth, life has no meaning.

· Faith that after death there are only worms.



b. Statement of Ethos
Anyone familiar with Jeffry 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.

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.

Moreover, any statement of non-materialism is heresy.

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.

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.

f. Statement of Evil
As with any cult, evil is seen everywhere in the form of other religious faiths (Hitchens; Onfray; Dawkins). 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 even denied. 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 Godel internal Type 2 (b) paradox are institutionalized.

Hierarchy
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.

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 [publicly Atheist; privately, otherwise possibly], and promotes not only Evolution, but all forms of corrupted thought that contributes to secularization.

c. Becomers
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.

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. Evolution has more power for the Atheist than even Philosophical Materialism, although Evolution is its derivative.

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 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, self-annointed elitism.

Supremacy of the Mind
When Atheism concludes that there is no deity, it presupposes that the human mind is capable of knowing all that a deity might know, all that a deity could do, all that a deity would see. This automatically places the Atheist mind in an exalted place, as the source of all truth.
“My mind is supreme”.
As the source of all truth, the Atheist mind becomes an object of awe and worship, and the situation becomes that of pagan self-worship. The Atheist might argue (and did in Kaufman v. McCaughtry) that, no, Atheism is the anti-religion. This merely summons the next question: Is an anti-religion a religion? (Again, legally it is of course).

Aside from the affirmative legal arguments, consider this: Is disorder (entropy) a form of order? Are black and white both colors? Is a null-set a set? Is zero a number? So is believing in “nothing” the same as believing in “something”? Is it the “something” that makes it a religion, or is it the belief? If it is the belief, is belief in “nothing” a religion?

The Atheist Faith
Belief in nothing is a belief without proof, a leap of faith. And because self-validation is an act of Godellian illogic, Atheism is a blind leap into illogic…the very definition of “religion” that Atheist’s love!

The answer is clearly “yes”, Atheism is, in fact, a religion. And it develops its own sets of rules to govern it. One such set is Secular Humanism, also legally declared a religion. Other rabid Atheist groups have their own sets of rules. So Atheism, the “anti-religion”, despite flimsy denials, is a religion. It is auto-pagan (self worship)…Narcissism.

How Do Atheists Determine Morality?
"Some say there is no objective morality. When told that a certain individual believed that morality is a sham, Samuel Johnson responded, ‘Why sir, if he really believes there is no distinction between virtue and vice, let us count our spoons before he leaves’."

Atheists bristle at the suggestion that a-theism equates to a-morality. Yet the “Paradox of the Honest Atheist” (Chapter 2) clearly illustrates the paradoxical dilemma that the Atheist position produces with respect to morality.

Because the Atheist mind is the “source of all truth”, morality is determined by each individual Atheist mind. So there will be as many moralities as there are Atheists… creating a chaotic amalgam of contradictions (Godel Type 2 (b) Paradoxes) under a single banner.

Or perhaps the Atheist co-opts an existing morality, while rejecting the source of that morality. This would be an intellectually compromising position. Yet I co-opted the Judeo-Christian ethic myself, as did many others also, ignoring the intellectual dishonesty such a position entails. This is a common state of existence for many Atheists: ignore the contradictions and live inside the paradox.

Chapman Cohen [(1868-1954) third president of the National Secular Society, Britain's largest Atheist organization] wrote in “Morality Without God”:

“The moral feeling creates the moral law; not the other way about. Morality has nothing to do with God; it has nothing to do with a future life. Its sphere of application and operation is in this world; its authority is derived from the common sense of mankind and is born of the necessities of corporate life.”
And,

“Finally, in the development of morality as elsewhere, nature creates very little that is absolutely new. It works up again what already exists. That is the path of all evolution.”
So according to Cohen, the moral feeling came first, then evolved into rules. But just as Darwin refused to address First Life and the origin of the mind, so Cohen does not address the origin of the “moral feeling”, which might be called conscience (See also, The problem of Metaphysics, and Appendix F). And Cohen’s model does not refute that separate populations might develop antithetical codes for their “morality”. His model simply states that for evolutionary success, people learned to get along by doing mutually compatible things. Or at least not getting bashed.

But is the concept of “If you touch my wife, I’ll bash you!” really a moral precept? From the offender’s view point there are two possible points of perception:

(a) I shouldn’t touch his wife because he will hurt me;

(b) I shouldn’t touch his wife because it is wrong.

The first is entirely pragmatic, and could be circumvented when the wife is alone. The second is conscience based, and works under all conditions. Is it likely that (a) will evolve into (b)? No, because evolutionary theory demands the perpetuation of one’s own genetics over all other activities. Perception (a) is the only possible result of the theory of evolution. The concept of “wrongness” could not have evolved, under the definition of survival of the fittest. Just as the existence of selflessness falsifies Darwinian evolution, so it falsifies Cohen’s evolutionary theory of morality, “Evolving Morality” is seen to be another evolutionary crutch for propping up Atheism.

But the most damage to Cohen’s “Evolving Morality” is done by asking who benefits from ethics and morality. It is not the fittest, the strongest. And it is not enough to say that the entire group benefits, because the benefit is not equally realized. It is the weakest, the least fit who benefit the most and are protected from the stronger and more fit. This is directly counter to Darwinist evolution.

The Fittest as an Ethic?
The single moral premise that appears universal to Atheists might be “survival of the fittest”, the main conclusion of the Darwinists. As a moral premise, this suggests that anything that advances the race/species is acceptable. More simply put, “anything that benefits me is acceptable”, which would equate to amorality. [Even denying that this is the case would benefit the Atheist].

This is compounded by the statements and beliefs of Atheists such as Aldous Huxley, Julian Huxley, Jeffrey Dahmer, Adolph Hitler, Josef Stalin, Chairman Mao, Fidel Castro, etc, that Atheism is the freedom from all moral constraint. In fact “freedom from all constraint” is a main attraction factor in accepting Atheism. So morality (or amorality) is a prickly subject indeed for the Atheist, who might subconsciously realize the disingenuous nature of claiming to be moral.

Behaving Like an Atheist?
If an Atheist is behaving like an Atheist, how is he behaving? Like a Christian? Like a Buddhist? Hindu? Can a person legitimately claim both Atheism and the morality of, say, Judeo-Christianity? Shouldn’t an Atheist behave exactly as if there is no deity?

Atheist Fallacy
The most egregious Atheist deception is the idea that Atheism is a lack of a belief. While this concept has been addressed elsewhere, it deserves another statement in this article.

Here are the possibilities:
1. The person has not heard of theism and has no position on it. (ingorant)
2. The person has not heard of theism and has rejected it. (impossible)
3. The person has heard of theism and has no position on it. (apathetic)
4. The person has heard of theism and has rejected it. (Atheistic)
5. the person has heard of theism and can't decide, needs more data. (Agnostic)

The idea that an Atheist has no position on theism or God is illogical; it is actually absurd and is a dodge to avoid certain logical arguments such as not being able to prove a negative ("there is no God"), an argument which illuminates the lack of logic inherent in the Atheist position, solely number 4 above.

Declaring that Atheists do NOT reject God and theism is, again, absurd.

5 comments:

Makarios said...

Wow! You've gone to a lot of work. Thank you - good post.

Jorgon Gorgon said...

Wow, you are rather stupid. Oh well, it takes all kinds.

jeb said...

such a witty, insightful comment, jorgon. i'm sure the proprietor of this blog is absolutely devastated.

Scott Hatfield . . . . said...

(tongue firmly in cheek) Apparently, as a theist I missed out on how I am supposedly pushing philosophy or religion on innocent school children by teaching evolution. I am shocked, shocked, shocked!

Do some atheists invoke evolution as something akin to an article of faith? Doubtless, but that isn't science, and we evolutionary biologists should be judged on the basis of the science that we produce, not on our private views on God or whether only natural processes exist. I feel very strongly that this latter impression, strongly expressed by many believers, is an example of projection. Believe me, Stan, the evolutionary biologists that I know are focused on data and evidence, not on the misapplication of their work by ideological cranks. Biology is an atheistic enterprise...but then again so is plumbing. It's sad that so many people have bought the big lie that evolution is a belief system, rather than a well-supported model within science. Your jabs at atheism support that false impression to the extent that you fail to say otherwise.

Stan said...

Scott said,
"It's sad that so many people have bought the big lie that evolution is a belief system, rather than a well-supported model within science. Your jabs at atheism support that false impression to the extent that you fail to say otherwise."

Scott, I'm glad to see you back. You probably know that I don't consider evolution to be empirical, I consider it to be anecdotal and extrapolated out of reasonable margins. The damage that such does to the reputation of empirical pursuits is hard to estimate, but it is considerable.

You won't agree with that I know, and so be it. I think it is not arguable also to say that evolution is, in fact, a weapon that is being used against our culture, and not by just a few cranks, as you suggest.

Almost no-one within the eolutionary biological community says anything that contradicts their image as devotees of Naturalism as a philosophy of life as well as profession.

It is not a lie that some - many - people include evolution as part of their belief system; I talk to them frequently, and for them evolution is a "done deal, get over it". Since scientists do nothing to refute this, I do. There are many so-called evolutionary scientists that encourage this erroneous thinking. They are de facto cult leaders.