Friday, July 8, 2011

Atheist Banners

Atheists want to subject the USA to a campaign of Atheist bumper-sticker wisdom extolling how virtuous Atheism and Atheists are. The latest attack was to have planes towing banners fly over ball games and Fourth of July celebrations, with messages claiming that “Atheism is Patriotic” and proclaiming a “God-LESS America”.

According to American Atheists,
“The very fact that we stand up to defend the constitutional separation of church and state, fight for the civil rights of all non-theists, and work to ensure true freedom of religion is one of the most patriotic things anyone can do! By defending against theocracy, we are acting patriotic and defending the founding document of this country. What better day to emphasize this than on the birthday of our great country?

“This campaign is not about pushing the “atheist agenda” or shoving our views down people’s throats. This is about advertising and raising the tide for all atheists across the United States. This is about getting Americans to recognize the role atheists play in this country and our dedication to its constitution. This is about generating public discussion about atheism, religion and the role of religion in politics and our national identity. This is an opportunity for public discourse about the very issues that are important not only to us, but to every American (whether they realize it or not)…
The problem is that most Atheists tend to the Left far enough that religious freedom means freedom from religion, meaning in every public venue there will be no absolutes. As for patriotism, it is easier to find one-worlders than border defenders amongst the Atheist community. The definition of patriotism given by the American Atheists, above, is a niche too narrow to measure when taken in the overall scheme of requirements for patriotism. It is a definition of defining and expanding a cult, using an imagined interpretation of the Constitution.

Atheists seem to think that the rest of the world doesn’t actually know what freedom from absolutes means when it is taken into the warp and woof of society. Atheism comes without principles attached to it, and is therefore unprincipled. Certainly some Atheists co-op the Judeo-Christian principles that permeated the first two centuries of American history. But under their own system of absence of moral principles, they are free to deviate in whichever direction they choose, whenever they choose to do so. And they have been busily deviating from moral principles for the last half century as they change laws to allow perversions to become mainstreamed, under the rubric of “civil rights” and “equality”, as if every actor is to be guaranteed those things regardless of his actions, no matter how odious. Extending protection to bad actors is not patriotic, it is odious itself.

What simplistic Atheist thinking misses here is that a God-LESS America is a fearsome concept if one takes it seriously. Being free of absolutes is not a comforting thought for those who can and have seen the absolutes-free reign of Atheist governments in the 20th Century. There is nothing new in history, only new players giving new names to the same old stuff. With the Republic on its last legs and staggering toward the abyss, all we need is principle-free Atheists taking charge, if they haven’t already. And I think maybe they have.

In terms of muddled thinking, what would the Atheist reaction have been if planes flying over public gatherings proclaimed "Jesus Saves", or "Allahu Akbar"? By violating the very premise of their argument, they demonstrate their non-linear, floating-base thinking.

19 comments:

Russell said...

"constitutional separation of church and state"

Which isn't in the US Constitution, but rather from Jefferson: "Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State."

A bit of research reveals the worry people had of the government establishing a National Religion, like in England, and allowing people to make their own choices concerning how, what and when to worship.

The separation was to keep the government's tentacles out of religion, but not to bar religion from government.

Those that cry for separation strike me as historically ignorant of the meaning behind the idea. Further, I'm sure most of them would have issues if the government was denied any access to religious institutes, their membership records, lands, holdings and money.

"Separation" would appear to be a one way street.

Anonymous said...

Planes DO fly over public gatherings proclaiming "Jesus Saves".

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3526/3185026853_cb67eda84b.jpg

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_BCrnZi2s5xo/StTDbGsF-EI/AAAAAAAAAIk/OH9a5TaqmgA/s400/praise+jesus.jpg

Stan said...

"Planes DO fly over public gatherings proclaiming "Jesus Saves"."

Yeah, I shoulda guessed that...

Stan said...

Russell,
It does appear that separation means subjugation in Atheist parlance. When religious institutions are taxed, as the Leftists are trying to make happen, then the government can use taxation as it does in other situations: to engineer the social landscape into what it wants. Already religious leaders cannot speak out against any of the favored programs of the political elite, or against the political elite itself. I'm not sure how the black liberation churches get away with it except that they typically support the Left anyway.

CHRIS said...

Off topic.
I've been perusing some agnostic websites.

I've noticed that most atheists today say that they are also agnostic. They do not know that theism is false. They believe it. They are not 100% certain.

If they are truly agnostic, and not merely evading, then they would say that is a possibility that theism is, in fact, true.

They would say that the evidence and the arguments are not convincing, resulting in an atheistic belief. But, I wonder, what kind of evidence, hypothetically, would change such a person's mind?

Would witnessing some kind of miraculous phenomena do it?

Would a powerful NDE do it?

Would a testimony of an unexplainable incident from somebody you personally totally trust do it?

Maybe.

But, more likely, the items above would be relegated to the category of a "mystery" or the "unknown".Positing the supernatural or "God" would probably be discarded for the position that there is, of course, unexplainable phenomena out there based on what we currently know. The "supernatural" is simply the natural that we do not
understand.

The question that comes to mind is what could cause the above atheist to ever question his philosophical materialism?

CHRIS said...

Very good article on the New Atheists-

"Believe it or not"
David B. Hart

Stan said...

Chris,
re:
http://www.firstthings.com/article/2010/04/believe-it-or-not

That article is excellent. Hart's writing is better than right-on-the-money; it is entertainingly eloquent.

I have ordered his book - I now have more to-read books than I can carry.

Stan said...

I like this part of Hart's article:

"A truly profound atheist is someone who has taken the trouble to understand, in its most sophisticated forms, the belief he or she rejects, and to understand the consequences of that rejection. Among the New Atheists, there is no one of whom this can be said, and the movement as a whole has yet to produce a single book or essay that is anything more than an insipidly doctrinaire and appallingly ignorant diatribe.

If that seems a harsh judgment, I can only say that I have arrived at it honestly. In the course of writing a book published just this last year, I dutifully acquainted myself not only with all the recent New Atheist bestsellers, but also with a whole constellation of other texts in the same line, and I did so, I believe, without prejudice. No matter how patiently I read, though, and no matter how Herculean the efforts I made at sympathy, I simply could not find many intellectually serious arguments in their pages, and I came finally to believe that their authors were not much concerned to make any.

What I did take away from the experience was a fairly good sense of the real scope and ambition of the New Atheist project. I came to realize that the whole enterprise, when purged of its hugely preponderant alloy of sanctimonious bombast, is reducible to only a handful of arguments, most of which consist in simple category mistakes or the kind of historical oversimplifications that are either demonstrably false or irrelevantly true. And arguments of that sort are easily dismissed, if one is hardy enough to go on pointing out the obvious with sufficient indefatigability."

Martin said...

Stan and Chris,

Yep. Terrific article. Right on the money. He indirectly mentions Aquinas' Second Way as well. :)

Don said...

I've noticed that most atheists today say that they are also agnostic. They do not know that theism is false. They believe it. They are not 100% certain.

The 'gnostic' part of 'agnostic' refers to knowledge. No-one is 100% certain.

The 'theism' part of 'atheism' refers to belief. Atheists lack belief in gods.

If theists were honest, they would call themselves agnostic theists until they could prove a god or gods exist.

Martin said...

Don,

Atheists lack belief in gods.

This can still mean: believe that God does not exist, or not know if God exists or not. It isn't specific enough.

K.K. Dowling said...

Not one person alive knows with certainty that gods exist or not.

CHRIS said...

Question for the agnostic.

How does he "know" that no one knows?

Is he not guilty of the very same "presumption" of those that he accuses?

KK Dowling said...

If you can prove a god exists then I'll be willing to say you're not agnostic.

Stan said...

Don said,
”If theists were honest, they would call themselves agnostic theists until they could prove a god or gods exist.”

Same ol’ category error in play here. Requiring material proof of a non-material being is simply a category error. Philosophical Materialists can no more prove that Philosophical Materialism is true than they can prove that there is no deity or first cause for the universe. So in terms of degree of validity (not truth), it is more valid to assume that there is a first cause for the universe than to deny – without material evidence – that there could be one.

CHRIS said...

Another good one by David Hart-
"Daniel Dennett Hunts the Snark"

Great content and excellent style.

KK Dowling said...

"Requiring material proof of a non-material being is simply a category error."

He didn't say anything about -material- proof.

"Philosophical Materialists can no more prove that Philosophical Materialism is true than they can prove that there is no deity or first cause for the universe. So in terms of degree of validity (not truth), it is more valid to assume that there is a first cause for the universe than to deny – without material evidence – that there could be one."

Don't you think that's a childish view? You must realise in the real world some things are more likely than others.

Stan said...

Per K K Dowling:
”He didn't say anything about -material- proof.”

Then what sort of non-material proof is he expecting? When skeptics demand proof, it is my experience that they mean material proof (since they deny all logical probabilities) even while denying their Materialism in the same breath. If you have examples of non-material proof that another person could provide, please provide them here. But let’s not make churlish demands that the deity appear before you or do your bidding at your command, OK?

”Don't you think that's a childish view? You must realise in the real world some things are more likely than others.”

From your short comment I presume that you mean that the “real” world is purely material, and that nothing else exists or it would be non-real. And presumably that extends only as far back as the origin of the universe at the moment of the big Bang. So there was nothing before the Big Bang, because the “real” world terminates there, as we look back. From this one concludes that the universe originated itself, from nothing, because the nothingness preceding the Big Bang could not contain any causes, being non-real. This is considered more likely than that a prior cause for the Big Bang existed?

But we do not experience material things originating from nothing. Even matter/antimatter pairs which pop into existence and then destroy each other come from a pre-existing quantum field which permeates the universe. Cause and effect are presupposed by science, and without them science could not perform experiments with any expectations of consistent results, and thus knowledge. But for some reason, a first cause for the universe is a childish concept?

No, it is more reasonable to expect that the origin of the universe did not come into being without a cause. Childish? Hardly.

Actually, however, your comment is without substance, and I might have misinterpreted your meaning since you didn't define your terms or make an actual case. Maybe you should expand your comment to make some sort of case. Then we would be more likely to discuss things on the same terms.

Stan said...

Chris,
Thanks for the link. I'm on it.