Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Silverman On Morals

David Silverman is the President of American Atheists, the organization started decades ago by Madelyn Murray O’Hair. Silverman gets a lot of face time in his official capacity, and he has started to appear at Progressive functions, since, as he puts it,
” The progressive community is chock full of atheists. The National Organization of Women, People for the America Way, the ACLU, Americans United, the Creating Change: these are movements, these are organizations chock full of atheists that need to know that we’re here, that need to know that we’re here to help them, and that need to know that we’re here to help them by fighting their fight with them.”
This time Silverman is at Netroots Nation, and is interviewed by Raw Story. The most interesting response by Silverman is this:
” Now, to your question about morality. What needs to be said about morality is that people make their own moral decisions. Everybody makes their own moral decisions. Then a theistic person would go to a church and find a place where the church agrees with him or her and actually say, “Well, okay, now my morality comes from my church. Now my morality is perfect. Now my morality is flawless, unchangeable, and unquestionable.” And atheist will say, “I have this opinion, but of course it can be changed.” A theist will change their opinion, too, then they change churches, and when they change churches, they again reinforce their opinion of morality with the dogma of the church they have chosen because it matches their opinions. So when we’re talking about politicians using religion as a morality, what we have to understand is that it’s not that religion is the source of morality. Humanity is the source of our own morality. And when they use religions to justify it, what they’re really doing is hiding behind their religion so that they don’t have to justify their positions. And I think that’s what has to be exposed. When somebody says, “I believe X because that’s what my god tells me,” that’s a lousy answer, and we have to expose that.”
Silverman makes two claims here.

First, he claims that theists have changeable morals, and that they choose a church based on its dogma. What he assumes is that the moral premise changes radically from church to church, when in fact, it does not because the moral premise is contained in a document which is not edited by the individual church. The Christian theist has a fixed morality which is contained in a document which is not church-specific. And no Christian theist will actually claim to be perfectly moral. The Christian claim is to be struggling with the fallen nature of man. Silverman has outlined his own ignorant and prejudiced view of how Christians think in a false cartoon which he pushes as truth. Silverman has created his own personal “reality” which doesn’t reflect actual facts. It is worse than that: it is purposefully false; a lie. Perhaps Silverman is projecting the moral concept which Atheists themselves have: make up your own morals to match your Atheist proclivities, and find reasons to support it with rationalizations. Whether Silverman knows it or not, that is the reason that a great many Atheists (Atheists are mostly male) are NOT feminists: it's not what they want.

Second, Silverman admits fully that for Atheists, morality is merely opinion. “Of course it can be changed”, he says, referring to the volatility of Atheist morality. As for a lousy answer, the Atheist claim of “morality” certainly qualifies, in spades. A changeable opinion might serve as a temporary ethic, but it is not morality. The volatility of Atheist “morals”, and their self-directed, self-enabled moral authority are precisely why Atheists are not trusted: they can generate no consistent moral responses upon which to depend and trust. They have no consistent moral code, so it is impossible to have a consistent Atheist moral response. No consistency, no trust. And in fact, the Silverman misrepresentation of theist thinking is an example of an opinion which is not trustworthy. Yet Silverman, like most activist Atheists, spends a lot of time making moral judgments. And since he makes those judgments based on cartoons rather than real facts, plus his admission that Atheist morals are merely opinions which can change, Silverman's moral proclamations are completely dismissable.

What Silverman has done, inadvertently to be sure, is to admit to Progressivism being heavily Atheist, and that Atheism is without any common, demonstrable morality, yet Atheists make moral judgments and pronouncements almost daily. He should be given credit for the truth of those statements. Thanks, David.


Chris said...

I've often wondered how an atheo-materialist can also claim to be a moral realist.

Steven Satak said...

What is it with wanna-be intellectuals like Silverman? You would think they would at least stop cutting off the branch they sit on, but they keep doing it. And then look around in surprise when only the poseurs and dolts believe what they say about reality.

Do they really think no one does their homework? Or are they appealing to the Snooki Generation? Same ol' atheists, same ol' tired-ass arguments that lead Nowhere and mean Nothing in the end.

J.Davids said...

Hi Stan

great blog.I hope to see you do an article in the near future on the crimes committed by communists (aka literal materialists) and the denial by new atheists (moderate materialists) that their crimes (genocides,mass rapes,killing of scientists,destruction of literature,etc) has no correlation between with them being atheists.