The Atheist Delusion and the Art of Incomprehensibility

The Moral Mixups of an Angry Atheist

The Moral Mixups of an Angry Atheist

“The “New Atheism” movement was launched as a direct consequence of the attacks of September 11, 2001.”

This is the opening statement of the Prologue from Why Science Does Not Disprove God by Amir D. Aczel, PH.D.

According to Dr. Aczel, religion and the acts of militancy creating the carnage of the 9-11 attacks are the raison d’etre for the New Atheists and for their haranguing believers in a God:

“New Atheism is combative, aggressive, and belligerent against people of belief. Its proponents hold that religion is evil, and they state this belief loudly and clearly. Whether they are scientists or not, the new atheists frequently employ science as their tool.”

If you have listened to talks or read the books by the New Atheists Richard Dawkins and the late Christopher Hitchens, among others, you might come away with the conclusion that science had disproved a need for God.

Restating Dr. Aczel in a familiar art format, the New Atheists have created a collage of “supporting” scientism. First they used bits and pieces of biology and evolution that were familiar to them. Then, they pasted on clippings of quantum mechanics theories. And now they are using a splatter technique, throwing infinite unknown universes with their infinite probabilities at the canvas to finish their collage.

All together I would call this hodgepodge work of Pop Art “The Atheist Delusion”.

The New Atheist’s debate diatribes, their dysfunctional use of science, their avoidance of archeological findings and their animus towards believers in a God are addressed by Dr. Aczel in his book.

From the Introduction, we read of Dr. Aczel’s authenticated cri de coeur:

“The past few years have seen the rapid growth of the idea that God and Science cannot possibly coexist….The purpose of this book is to defend the integrity of science.” (emphsis added)

Dr. Aczel knows first-hand the New Atheist’s agenda via debating with them:

“And these New Atheists—Richard Dawkins, Lawrence Krauss, the late Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett”—are bound together under a powerful common purpose, and continually reinforce each other. The problem with the science in the books and lectures of the New Atheists is that it is not pure science—the objective pursuit of knowledge about the universe.” Rather, it is “science” with a purpose” [I call it “scientism,” as do others]: the purpose of disproving the existence of God.” (emphasis added)

~~~

 

Something to think about:

What do the ancient Greek “atomist” philosophers (circa 460-270 BC) like Epicurus and Democritus and the On Origin of the Species author Charles Darwin and the New Atheists have in common?

There are at least three issues that frame the writings and dialog of each subset:

1-All of them had the notion that no Supreme Being would exist that would allow judgment and eternal punishment. For example…

Charles Darwin: “I gradually came to disbelieve in Christianity as divine revelation”; “The plain language of the [biblical] text seems to show that men who do not believe and this would include my Father, Brother and almost all my best friends, will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine.”  -Chapter Eight, “Triumph and the Reversal of Natural Selection”, Darwin: Portrait of a Genius by Paul Johnson

The New Atheists, speaking as gods, posit that no Supreme Being would ever judge mankind or let evil enter our world. (They are OK, though, with an Epicurean “free will” attenuated by evolution and Social Darwinism and with ignoring murderous dictators, genocide, eugenics, abortion, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, etc.-all the “damnable” by-products of atheism and Social Darwinism.)

2-All of them used unscientific analogs and personal anecdotes (feelings) to create their “empirical” disavowal and disapproval of God’s existence. There are too many references to list all of them here.

From Paul Johnson’s biography:

“The trouble with [Darwin’s] Descent [of Man] really starts in chapter 5, “On the Development of the Intellectual and Moral Faculties during Primeval and Civilized Times.” It is a mass of generalizations.”

According to historian Paul Johnson, Charles Darwin made statements in The Descent of Man and elsewhere that would be considered highly racist, chauvinistic and speculative today.

“Like Dawkins, Hitchens also uses anecdotes from his own life to illustrate the overwhelming viciousness he sees in all religions:” (Dr. Aczel goes on to quote Hitch’s church memories.)

Feelings and sentimentality do not a scientist make.

The New Atheists, from railing on and on about the Crusades and Catholic Priest child abuse to denigrating Mother Teresa to childhood church memories, hope to poison the well of Living Water that a Samaritan women would drink from.

3- None of the above studied anthropology, metaphysics, archeology and mathematics. Instead, they read the tabloids. They wanted to know what people thought about them. Darwin held off publishing On Origin of the Species due to his concern over public opinion.

For your consideration:

Dr. Aczel states that atheism began with the “Atomist” philosophers. This is not so. Atheism is a post-Christian phenomenon. The Epicureans mentioned above believed in Roman and Greek deities, to be sure, but they felt that those deities where busy off somewhere else and were always angry with mankind anyway. So, they chose to ignore those gods.

One final note about the book:

Dr. Aczel, as his book clearly reinforces, reasons scientifically that there is a God-in the “broadest possible sense.” But, Dr. Aczel makes no claim saying that God is a personal God or, say, as Francis Schaeffer, founder of L’Abri said in his writings and lectures that, “God is Infinite-Personal”. Dr. Aczel’s book, one could say, is purely academic…and scientifically supports Theism.

Amir D. Aczel holds graduate degrees in mathematics. He is also the author of Fermat’s Last Theorem. In Why Science Does Not Disprove God he notes a significant array of distinguished scientists interviewed in the process of writing his book. And, here are the chapter titles to pique your interest:

Prologue: The Birth of the New Atheism

1-The Coevolution of Very Early Science and Religion

2-Why Archaeology Does not Disprove the Bible

3-The Revolt of Science

4-The Triumphs of Science in the Nineteenth Century

5-Einstein, God, and the Big Bang

6-God and the Quantum

7-The “Universe from Nothing” Deception

8-And on the Eighth Day, God Created the Multiverse

9-Mathematics, Probability, and God

10-Catastrophes, Chaos, and the Limits of Human Knowledge

11-Between God and the Anthropic Principle

12-The Limits of Evolution

13-Art, Symbolic Thinking, and the Invisible Boundary

14-Engaging the Infinite

15-Conclusion: Why the “Scientific” Argument for Atheism Fails

 

~~~

Added 9-26-2015:

Below, the Hebrew King David (c. 1040–970 BC) speaks about a morally perverse person, an ungodly person, and one who disregards God and any thought of moral adjudication (see above for the modern folly version by the New Atheists). David is not talking about theoretical atheism. The Apostle Paul later references Psalm 14 in his letter to the Roman church (Chapter 3) when talks about the nature of sin:

“For the choir director: A psalm of David. Only fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and their actions are evil; not one of them does good!” Psalm 14:1

~~~

Cartoon from: http://www.christianpost.com/news/the-moral-mixups-of-an-angry-atheist-125221/

Darwin’s Myopia, Our Dilemma

Darwin’s Myopia, in excerpts: 

Darwin’s Myopia, in excerpts: “Once, Milton, Byron, Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Shelly “gave me great pleasure” and “I took intense delight in Shakespeare.” -Charles Darwin ~~~ “In his old age Darwin admitted, “I have lost the power of becoming deeply attached to anyone.” He assured Tennyson that there was nothing in his theories to prevent anyone believing in a supreme being. But he did not think about God or the possibility of an afterlife. He closed his mind to speculation about the infinite and concentrated on worms. One is tempted to feel that he deliberately shut his eyes to the ultimate consequences of his work, in terms of the human condition and the purpose of life or the absence of one.” Paul Johnson (emphasis added) ~~~ “It is hard to believe that Darwin himself would have accepted this huge, bottomless emptiness of life. Or, rather, perhaps because he felt it yawning, he averted his eyes from the big issues and focused them on the small: climbing plants, orchids, insectivorous plants, worms. The truth is long before he died, he had lost control over his own theory. The point at which he lost control can be precisely identified. It was when he decided that natural selection, to be of internally coherent, has to be comprehensive and universal. But if this is so, then there is no essential difference between man and any other animal. The differences, however obvious and seemingly enormous, are of degree and not of kind.” Paul Johnson (emphasis added) ~~~ Enter the paradox, missed by Darwin: “It can more easily be grasped if we see natural selection as destructive as well as constructive-and not only destructive but self-destructive. Once natural selection had created man, it was in its own danger zone. Human beings think…are conscious, and self-conscious. It is at this stage in evolution that natural selection falters and ceases to work with all its previous triumphalism and certitude.” (emphasis added) ~~~ The above quotes are taken from Historian Paul Johnson’s insightful biography Darwin: portrait of a genius Copyright © 2015 From Johnson’s concise, detailed and deliberative biography we learn that Charles Darwin inherited genius stock-“a classic case of genetic inheritance”. We read of Darwin’s luminous and wealthy patriarchs-of his paternal and maternal grandfathers and of his father. We learn of Darwin’s moneyed care and education upbringing. Self-education would soon become a way of life for Darwin. Darwin married a godly wife, Emma Wedgwood, a “clever, educated, equable, hardworking, industrious, economical, and, not least, sensitive” woman. Together they had many children together. Darwin, a lover of botany and the author of On the Origin of the Species, we are told, never involved himself with the study of anthropology. He also never regarded math to any usable extent. Statistics were never his bailiwick. It is likely that Darwin never met up with and had never studied the Christian Monk Gregor Mendel’s foundational work, a well-read paper on genetics in 1866, a writing that would support natural selection and which also gave birth to the science of genetics. Darwin, during his Beagle voyage focused on botany, insects, flora and fauna in general and the facial expression of savages such as those of Tierra del Fuego. At home he read the local press, deeply concerned about how other people viewed everyone else, scientists in particular who differed from what he considered church dogma. Darwin’s s fear of being ostracized on earth with his published work coupled with his revulsion of any thought of eternal ostracization-punishment in hell forever-kept Darwin spiritually self-ostracized. He turned away from God and turned inward with a self-defensive mode of living. At one point Darwin, we read, became enthralled with Thomas Malthus’ theory of overpopulation, an unsubstantiated and later refuted theory that would become lifelong dogma for Darwin. At the same time Darwin also denied any Christian accounting of creation. “Ever since he became a systematic naturalist, Darwin had been an evolutionist. That is, he dismissed the account of Genesis of the separate creation of the species by Yahweh as symbolic and not to be taken literally. They had some way evolved. There was nothing new, surprising or alarming in this.” Others before him held similar views. See Chapter Three, “The Loss of God.” In the chapter titled “Evils of Social Darwinism” Paul Johnson postulates, and I agree with his assessment, that a hybrid of natural selection-Social Darwinism-has led to all manner of evil: “Those who studied progress were hugely attracted by Darwin’s notion of natural selection as a relentless self-driving machine, “daily and hourly scrutinizing, throughout the world, every variation…silently and insensibly working…at the improvement of each organic being…” Darwin’s words “Struggle” and “Survival” would later be found in the works and placards of atheists and agnostics and of German philosophers. The words would be used to secure featherbedding in the humanist realm of law as well as in sociology, psychology and psychiatry. Culture would make the leap of Social Darwinism. “Struggle” and “Survival” would be the seed words for the monstrous propagandized outgrowths of Fascists and of Socialists and of a Hitler and Marx and Engels and for the crushing rollout of Stalinist Communism. These same words were used to foment the works of Francis Galton and his sterilization eugenics program, a program practiced in many nations! Under such a program it would be decided by someone(s) who was “desirable” or “undesirable”. If a person was found “undesirable”, then that person was “unfit to procreate” and then sterilized. Soon, the same eugenics process would be used to decide which races were “unfit to live.” You can take the thread of thought from here. Today, Progressives want to define life: who is “fit to live” and who is “unfit to live” (e.g., abortion, death panels); who is to benefit (the 99%) and who isn’t to benefit (the 1%). Here’s a sample from an apparent Epicurean atheist: The website Slate, a website where myopia studies itself in the mirror; where intelligence and moral absolutes proudly go to be reprogrammed, has a review of Johnson’s book by Mark Joseph Stern. Incidentally, Slate provides its sycophantic readers with atheistic Progressive hubristic feel-good dispersions and mostly Turkish Delight. The article written by “red in tooth and claw” Mark Joseph Stern apparently hoped to incite a circle of atheistic humanist commentator wagons around the theory of evolution by using a well-known electric atheist prod-a rant that desperately wanted make the point that the “Bible is wrong”. Though mostly accepting of historian Johnson’s overview of Darwin’s life and work, Stern’s feathers are ruffled by Johnson interpolation of Darwin’s natural selection. He ends his piece with reassuring hubris: “But no thoughtful reader could possibly tolerate Johnson’s stunning intellectual dishonesty.” The article: “New Darwin Biography Is Horribly, Almost Comically Wrong” – “The latest effort to smear evolution by natural selection.” ~~ Well, think again Mark Joseph Stern. In fact read the book again. See that in no way does Paul Johnson dismiss or “smear” evolution or natural selection (you stated this in the subtitle of your article). At the end of the book, Johnson does extrapolate what he sees as the natural and ideological outcomes of the humanist “survival of the fittest” thinking tied to Darwin’s natural selection theory and apart from a God-consciousness. As can be seen by reading Slate and other ideological publications, Social Darwinism is now an applied theory that will abide no reference to mankind as created by God. Social Darwinism must abide with “the will to power”. Slate readers, I fear, would hate the correlation between God and man as much as they do their own shadows (Paul Johnson’s book) cast on cave walls. Our Dilemma: Do we take to heart and flesh the words of Slate and the Progressives and let Social Darwinism and materialism define our lives? Do we, in the same vein, live like animals and subvert reason while claiming “science made me do it” and continue to make “unnatural selections (e.g., homosexuality)? Or, do we return to our Creator? I commend Paul Johnson’s book to you. Read it and discern for yourself. I believe in God as a theistic evolutionist. ~~~ Other Christians who think like I do regarding Creation: “Even before Darwin published The Origin of Species in 1859, many Christians had already accepted an old Earth. One of the first supporters of evolutionary science in America—Harvard biologist Asa Gray—was a devout Christian. Conservative theologian B. B. Warfield also accepted the science of evolution, and both he and Asa Gray rejected the idea that evolution leads to atheism. Even the authors of The Fundamentals, published between 1910 and 1915, accepted an old earth. It wasn’t until a century after Darwin that a large number of evangelicals and fundamentalists began to accept the combination of flood geology and 6-day creation promoted by Seventh-day Adventists.” -How have Christians responded to Darwin’s “Origin of Species”? (emphasis added) Copyright © 2015 The BioLogos Foundation “Given the stark difference between evolution and six-day creation, many people assume that Darwin’s theory shook the foundations of the Christian faith. In truth, the literal six-day interpretation of Genesis 1-2 was not the only perspective held by Christians prior to modern science. St. Augustine (354-430), John Calvin (1509-1564), John Wesley (1703-1791), and others supported the idea of Accommodation. In the Accommodation view, Genesis 1-2 was written in a simple allegorical fashion to make it easy for people of that time to understand. In fact, Augustine suggested that the 6 days of Genesis 1 describe a single day of creation. St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) argued that God did not create things in their final state, but created them to have potential to develop as he intended. The views of these and other Christian leaders are consistent with God creating life by means of evolution.” -How was the Genesis account of creation interpreted before Darwin? (emphasis added) Copyright © 2015 The BioLogos Foundation https://youtu.be/niCgFJB2SGU

“Once, Milton, Byron, Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Shelly “gave me great pleasure” and “I took intense delight in Shakespeare.” -Charles Darwin

~~~

“In his old age Darwin admitted, “I have lost the power of becoming deeply attached to anyone.” He assured Tennyson that there was nothing in his theories to prevent anyone believing in a supreme being. But he did not think about God or the possibility of an afterlife. He closed his mind to speculation about the infinite and concentrated on worms. One is tempted to feel that he deliberately shut his eyes to the ultimate consequences of his work, in terms of the human condition and the purpose of life or the absence of one.” Paul Johnson (emphasis added)

~~~

“It is hard to believe that Darwin himself would have accepted this huge, bottomless emptiness of life. Or, rather, perhaps because he felt it yawning, he averted his eyes from the big issues and focused them on the small: climbing plants, orchids, insectivorous plants, worms. The truth is long before he died, he had lost control over his own theory. The point at which he lost control can be precisely identified. It was when he decided that natural selection, to be of internally coherent, has to be comprehensive and universal. But if this is so, then there is no essential difference between man and any other animal. The differences, however obvious and seemingly enormous, are of degree and not of kind.”

Paul Johnson (emphasis added)

~~~

Enter the paradox, missed by Darwin: “It can more easily be grasped if we see natural selection as destructive as well as constructive-and not only destructive but self-destructive. Once natural selection had created man, it was in its own danger zone. Human beings think…are conscious, and self-conscious.

It is at this stage in evolution that natural selection falters and ceases to work with all its previous triumphalism and certitude.” (emphasis added)

~~~

The above quotes are taken from Historian Paul Johnson’s insightful biography Darwin: portrait of a genius   Copyright © 2015

Darwin Portrait of a Genius

From Johnson’s concise, detailed and deliberative biography we learn that Charles Darwin inherited genius stock-“a classic case of genetic inheritance”. We read of Darwin’s luminous and wealthy patriarchs-of his paternal and maternal grandfathers and of his father. We learn of Darwin’s moneyed care and education upbringing. Self-education would soon become a way of life for Darwin.

Darwin married a godly wife, Emma Wedgwood, a “clever, educated, equable, hardworking, industrious, economical, and, not least, sensitive” woman. Together they had many children together.

Darwin, a lover of botany and the author of On the Origin of the Species, we are told, never involved himself with the study of anthropology. He also never regarded math to any usable extent. Statistics were never his bailiwick.

It is likely that Darwin never met up with and had never studied the Christian Monk Gregor Mendel’s foundational work, a well-read paper on genetics in 1866 and a writing that would support natural selection. Mendel’s pea hybrid work would give birth to the science of genetics.

Darwin, during his Beagle voyage focused on botany, insects, flora and fauna in general and the facial expression of savages such as those of Tierra del Fuego. At home he read the local press. He was deeply concerned about how other people viewed everyone else, scientists in particular, who differed from what he considered church dogma..

Darwin’s s fear of being ostracized on earth with his published work coupled with his revulsion of any thought of eternal ostracization-punishment in hell forever-kept Darwin spiritually self-ostracized from the Creator. He turned away from God and turned inward with a self-defensive mode of living.

At one point Darwin, we read, became enthralled with Thomas Malthus’ theory of overpopulation, an unsubstantiated and later refuted theory. Malthus’ theory would become lifelong dogma for Darwin. At the same time Darwin also denied any Christian accounting of creation.

“Ever since he became a systematic naturalist, Darwin had been an evolutionist. That is, he dismissed the account of Genesis of the separate creation of the species by Yahweh as symbolic and not to be taken literally. They had some way evolved. There was nothing new, surprising or alarming in this.” Others before him held similar views. See Chapter Three, “The Loss of God.”

In the chapter titled “Evils of Social Darwinism” Paul Johnson postulates, and I agree with his assessment, that a hybrid of natural selection-Social Darwinism-has led to all manner of evil: “Those who studied progress were hugely attracted by Darwin’s notion of natural selection as a relentless self-driving machine, “daily and hourly scrutinizing, throughout the world, every variation…silently and insensibly working…at the improvement of each organic being…” Darwin’s words “Struggle” and “Survival” would later be found in the works and placards of atheists and agnostics and of German philosophers. The words would be used to secure featherbedding in the humanist realm of law as well as in sociology, psychology and psychiatry. Culture would make the leap of Social Darwinism.

“Struggle” and “Survival” would be the seed words for the monstrous propagandized outgrowths of Fascists and of Socialists and of a Hitler and Marx and Engels and for the crushing rollout of Stalinist Communism.

These same words were used to foment the works of Francis Galton and his sterilization eugenics program, a program practiced in many nations!

Under such a program it would be decided by someone(s) who was “desirable” or “undesirable”. If a person was found “undesirable”, then that person was “unfit to procreate” and then sterilized. Soon, the same eugenics process would be used to decide which races were “unfit to live.” You can take the thread of thought from here.

Today, Progressives want to define life: who is “fit to live” and who is “unfit to live” (e.g., abortion, death panels); who is to benefit and who isn’t to benefit (class and race warfare). Here’s a sample of the Progressive’s rejection of anything that might rattle their cages, written by an apparent Epicurean atheist:

The website Slate, a website where myopia studies itself in the mirror; where intelligence and moral absolutes proudly go to be reprogrammed into “who’s the bigger hypocrite” moral relativism, has a review of Johnson’s book by Mark Joseph Stern.

Incidentally, Slate provides its sycophantic readers with atheistic Progressive hubristic feel-good dispersions and mostly Turkish Delight.

The article written by “red in tooth and claw” Mark Joseph Stern apparently hoped to incite a circle of atheistic humanist commentator wagons around the theory of evolution by using a well-known electric atheist prod-a rant that desperately wanted make the point that the “Bible is wrong”.

Stern wanted to protect the atheist’s raison d’etre-a material world without moral agency (read accountability) and certainly one without Absolutes. A Darwinian Social scientism in lieu of God is more to their liking, more controllable and less scary.

Though mostly accepting of historian Johnson’s overview of Darwin’s life and work, Stern’s feathers are ruffled by Johnson’s interpolation of Darwin’s natural selection. He ends his piece with reassuring hubris:   “But no thoughtful reader could possibly tolerate Johnson’s stunning intellectual dishonesty.” The article:

“New Darwin Biography Is Horribly, Almost Comically Wrong” – “The latest effort to smear evolution by natural selection.”

~~

Well, think again Mark Joseph Stern. In fact read the book again. See that in no way does Paul Johnson dismiss or “smear” evolution or natural selection (you stated this in the subtitle of your article).

At the end of the book, Johnson does extrapolate what he sees as the ideological outcomes (Social Darwinism, humanism, nihilism, eugenics, etc.) of Darwin’s natural selection theory, a theory deliberately configured apart from God-consciousness as it was detached from Mendel’s foundational statistics experiments over time. (By way of information, before Darwin someone else would coin the phrase “survival of the fittest”.)

As can be seen by reading Slate and other smug ideological publications, Social Darwinism is now an applied theory that will abide no reference to mankind as created by God. Instead, Social Darwinism must abide with “the will to power”. Slate readers, I fear, would hate the correlation between God and man as much as they do their own shadows (i.e., Paul Johnson’s revelatory deductions) cast on cave walls.

Our Dilemma:

Do we take to heart and flesh the words of Slate and the Progressives and let Social Darwinism and materialism define our lives? Do we, in the same vein, live like animals and subvert reason while claiming “science made me do it” and continue to make “unnatural selections (e.g., homosexuality, abortion)?

Or, do we return to our Creator?

I commend Paul Johnson’s book to you. Read it and discern for yourself.

I believe in God as a theistic evolutionist.

~~~

Other Christians who think like I do regarding Creation:

Even before Darwin published The Origin of Species in 1859, many Christians had already accepted an old Earth. One of the first supporters of evolutionary science in America—Harvard biologist Asa Gray—was a devout Christian. Conservative theologian B. B. Warfield also accepted the science of evolution, and both he and Asa Gray rejected the idea that evolution leads to atheism. Even the authors of The Fundamentals, published between 1910 and 1915, accepted an old earth. It wasn’t until a century after Darwin that a large number of evangelicals and fundamentalists began to accept the combination of flood geology and 6-day creation promoted by Seventh-day Adventists.”How have Christians responded to Darwin’s “Origin of Species”? (emphasis added) Copyright © 2015 The BioLogos Foundation

 

Given the stark difference between evolution and six-day creation, many people assume that Darwin’s theory shook the foundations of the Christian faith. In truth, the literal six-day interpretation of Genesis 1-2 was not the only perspective held by Christians prior to modern science. St. Augustine (354-430), John Calvin (1509-1564), John Wesley (1703-1791), and others supported the idea of Accommodation. In the Accommodation view, Genesis 1-2 was written in a simple allegorical fashion to make it easy for people of that time to understand. In fact, Augustine suggested that the 6 days of Genesis 1 describe a single day of creation. St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) argued that God did not create things in their final state, but created them to have potential to develop as he intended. The views of these and other Christian leaders are consistent with God creating life by means of evolution.”How was the Genesis account of creation interpreted before Darwin? (emphasis added) Copyright © 2015 The BioLogos Foundation