Whether the new atheism is delusion?
Author: Paul Grimmond
Mathias of Media of 2009 Sydney, Australia
(a translation of article from English “ Atheism is definately wrong “ Paul Grimmond, Matthias Media 2009)
In recent time appeared a new type of atheists, or at least so they call themselves - “ new atheists “. Over the past few years Richard Doukins, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens published books - best-sellers in which claim that atheism - it is the only reasonable way to understand life on the planet Earth. So new in this statement?
Obviously representation that God does not exist - it is not new, we faced it earlier. “ Novelty “ so-called new atheism is based on the statement that only scientifically - the reasonable atheism is a way to the future of mankind.
According to Doukins, “ Now it is fashionable to panic concerning a doomsday from - for threats to mankind which is represented by the AIDS virus, mad cow disease and many others, but I think what can be proved that the belief is one of the great evils in the world, it as the smallpox virus, but is more difficult to get rid of belief “. (1) For new atheists, the religion in all forms and manifestations is root of all evil around the world. To create the peace future, we have to get rid of religion; and the only way to get rid of religion - to trust science, reason and logic.
It is impossible to consider everything that was written by new atheists to a short period. But it is exclusive for the sake of discussion, we will consider Doukins`s arguments, asking one important question: whether its arguments and the conclusions are same reasonable and scientific as he claims?
We will consider three main problems in his reasonings.
1. “ The Religion generates the evil “ - but the atheism also generates the evil.
Why, for reasons of new atheists, the religion generates the evil? According to Doukins: “ The Religion teaches a dangerous nonsense that death - it is not the end. If death of a finaln, then the rational person appreciates the life, without wishing to risk it. It does the world safer, also as on the plane it is safer when his car thief wants to survive. In other extreme if a significant amount of people are convinced that the death of the martyr is equal to pressing of the button of hyper space and passing through spatially - temporary tunnels in other Universe, then it does the world by very dangerous place “ (2).
From the first look, Doukins`s statement meets with approval. First, it recognizes what all of us feel: horror and ruin from attack of the World Trade Center 9 - 11. Secondly, the statement truly pays attention that at this concrete act of terrorism there was a motivation to be rewarded in life after death. But the question consists in whether the belief in afterlife inevitably to something malicious conducts? Whether the converse is correct - whether surely the belief in death as the absolute final of life conducts to good?
Proofs from history suggest an idea of the return. In the history of Christianity there is a set of examples when the belief in life after death motivated people to create great good for which it was necessary to pay with the inconceivable price. The historian and the sociologist Rodney Starck claims that during destructive epidemics in the Roman Empire, Christians remained to care for patients while, atheists escaped from fear. (3) Trust to God in providing eternal life and the desire to serve other people motivated Christians on commission of good.
From a reverse, the atheistic outlook can be quite used to justify the evil. We will put Godwin`s law aside, Nazi Germany will be a remarkable example (4). Contrary to a popular belief, Hitler borrowed philosophical bases for a justification of the Jewish genocide from the atheist Friedrich Nietzsche - person famous for the phrase “ God is dead “. Nietzsche violently argued with Christian morals of his days. He claimed that a source of the real morals in the world without God - the person. In particular, Nietzsche believed that the good in life consists of wealth, force, health and influence. Way of achievement of wealth and influence is creation of own morals, but not acceptance of morals of others (at that time the morals were Iudaistsko - Christian). From this philosophical position, Hitler did not need to be irrational to justify the Jewish genocide.
Of course it does not say that the atheism by all means will come to an end in nazi Germany, and that the conclusion to which Hitler came is one of many excellently rational and logical conclusions provided that the world in which we live - all this that is. But if Doukins is right, then rational conclusions have to conduct always to good in the world. Most likely, Nietzsche and Hitler thought of both absolutely rationally. If there is no God, then there is no standard concept “ dobra “ and “ evils “ - there is only a personal opinion of each person. Hitler`s conclusion that his morals were also lawful as well as any other person, was absolutely logical.
Doukins`s statement that the belief in life after death conducts to the evil, and denial of life after death conducts to good, simply does not maintain criticism. As the person preaches that arguments have to rest on proofs - in this case it would be interesting to us to learn what he made with the proof. It conducts to the following problem:
2. “ The Atheism morally surpasses religion “ - so means in atheism there is a good and evil?
One of the main arguments of new atheists is that the atheism leads to the best morals, than Christianity. New atheists believe that the good and evil actually exist and that they can explain why the atheism is a good, and the Christianity is the evil. But this argument is constructed on a fundamental contradiction.
We will take Richard Doukins`s quote: “ In the Universe filled with electrons and selfish genes, blind forces of physics and genetic replications, some people will suffer, and to someone will carry, and it is impossible to find neither harmony, nor sense, nor justice in the Universe. The Universe which we observe possesses just such qualities which suggest an idea that finally, in it there is no plan, there is no purpose, there is no evil, there is no good, nothing except ruthless indifference “ (5). In other words if to watch at the world from the point of view of evolution, then all around - accident and concepts “ well “ or “ badly “ does not exist.
Here the contradiction is obvious: on the one hand Doukins wants to tell that the atheism creates the world better morally. On the other hand, he claims that such concept as morals does not exist in general. This serious discrepancy for its position. It also emphasizes a considerable difference between atheism and Christianity.
It is necessary to recognize that awful things were perfect under the name of Christianities. But these actions were made in the direct opposite with Jesus`s manuals. The atheism, nevertheless, has no basis even to give a hint at the concept “ evils “. So when Doukins claims that atheists such as Stalin, made the evil where the basis of such charge? Stalin just followed the logical conclusions concerning the world. They maybe differ from Doukins`s conclusions (and I am very glad that Doukins thinks differently!) but if Doukins does not contradict himself, then everything that he can tell - that Stalin just thought in a different way, but did not create the evil.
New atheists want to combine incompatible. They want to present the world in which everything casually and is absent morals, at the same time claiming that their point of view promotes the best morals in society. This contradiction to.
3. “ Freedom of speech “ - for all or only for atheists?
All aforesaid conducts to the most difficult contradiction of new atheism. New atheists actively protect freedom of speech. They claim that the religion suppresses freedom of speech while the science and rational research welcome freedom of speech. Despite it, Doukins devotes almost whole section of the book to save the children from religious ideas. He approvingly quotes the friend Nicholas Hamfrey: “ We should not more allow parents to learn to believe the children, for example, in literal truthfulness of the Bible or that planets operate the lives; we have to allow parents to beat out to children teeth or to lock them in a dungeon “ (6). Doukins suggests to solve a problem which he considers as brain washing, by means of own type of brain washing: “ In what degree children are property of the parents?... Fairly the fact that people have to be free to trust in in what they want, but whether they have the right to impose the ideas to children? Whether there is somebody in society who will interfere with this problem? “ (7)
Looks so as if Doukins himself decides what is true and what is not true, caring for that the next generation grew with “ correct “ ideas. If to follow Doukins`s reasonings that the science and reason are so axiomatically truthful, then why for him it is so necessary that children listened only to his opinion? It is difficult not to agree that Doukins creates fundamentalism, the doctrine which in the same way is dangerous, as well as the doctrine which he opposes. Doukins`s statements deeply contradict themselves.
Famous phrase of Jesus: “ You then learn truth, and the truth will make you free “ (8). Jesus was not afraid of the questions concerning the truth, did not believe that the violence is necessary to force people to believe in the truth. Moreover, he was ready to die for the truth, than to force someone to trust violently in the views.
But truth - it it is much bigger, than just the facts about the world. Jesus learned that eventually the truth consists in sense, relationship between people and mission of life. We are not casual bunches of atoms which met in any order within 70 - 80 years of senseless existence before being scattered again in dust wordly. We are creations, with self-respect and the importance, created on similarity of God *, and we in the answer before It how our lives lived. It is important that because God keeps us in the answer, we can rethink this life.
Jesus told that he came to this world because we did affairs. Deeply inside we realize that it is the truth. All of us made some bad acts, deceived, changed, treated others by the principle of own egoistical desires. Jesus told that these things are actually very important. They are so important that he died, crucified on a cross **, and everything from - for human acts.
I do not expect from you that you suddenly will begin to trust in all this, having read only this article. But I hope that you will begin to consider analytically objectivity and rationality of authors, such as Richard Doukins. I also hope that you devote time to read the Bible for yourself. Jesus was the kindest, moral, and reasonable person *** who was ever known by history.
(1) R Dawkins, `Is Science a Religion?`, The Humanist, vol. 57, Jan/Feb 1997, p. 26.
(2) R Dawkins, `Religion`s Misguided Missiles`, The Guardian, 15 September 2001.
(3) R Stark, The Rise of Christianity, Princeton University Press, New Jersey, 1996.
(4) Godwin`s law - “ Godwin`s law is that than there is longer a discussion in the blog, that a high probability that somebody will mention nazi Germany.
(5) R Dawkins, `God`s Utility Function`, Scientific American, November 1985, p. 85.
(6) R Dawkins, The God Delusion, Black Swan edition, Random House, London, 2007, p. 367.
(7) This comment was made in an interview with Gary Wolf, cited in an online edition of Wired Magazine: G Wolf, `The Church of the Non - Believers`, Wired Magazine, November 2006: com/wired/archive/14. 11 / atheism. html? pg=2
(8) From Ioann 8:32 (Livets Ord)
* for the Internet - trolls (spitpoisons) dreaming on similarity of God pay attention that is told about similarity, but not about full identity, or the exact copy. And in what sense we are similar, it is already single question.
** Jesus revived for the third day and is living to this day, according to Christian religion.
*** Jesus was not a hybrid between God and the person, it was 100% God in 100% a human body, but not 50 on 50. God came to Earth in a body of the person in order that people could understand that life on Earth is familiar to it, difficulties, temptations, pain, pleasures and sufferings are familiar to it. That it not some remote God somewhere it is far in other galaxy to which not to understand what we should pass through. (an explanation from lecture in church Unichurch, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia).