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Title: Why Atheism Fails - The Four Big Bangs

User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2007-05-17 23:22:29

 

Why Atheism Fails: The Four Big Bangs

DaveScot

Why Atheism Fails: The Four Big Bangs

By Frank Pastore

Sunday, May 6, 2007

 

Their atheistic titles sound so confident:

?The Atheist Manifesto

?God is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens.

?A Challenge to Faith by Sam Harris.

and of course, ?The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins.

 

Yet, like all atheists before them, they still can answer the fundamental

questions of origins.

 

1) What is the origin of the universe? Why is there something rather than

nothing? How do you get matter and energy from nothingness? How do you get a

rock out of nothing?

2) What is the origin of life? How do you get life from non-life? How do you

go from a rock to a tree?

3) What is the origin of mind? How does a living thing become a

self-conscious being? How do you go from a tree, to an animal, to a human?

4) What is the origin of good and evil? How does an amoral being become

morally aware?

 

Atheists respond to all these types of questions with essentially the same

style answer. e know God doesn exist. Therefore, since wee here,

though, it had to have happened this way. Thus, like the universe itself,

life, mind, and mo-rality all ust popped?into existence out of

nothingness.?

I call them the Four Big Bangs:

1? the Cosmological (the universe ust popped?into existence out of

nothingness).

2? the Biological (life ust popped?into existence out of a dead thing).

3? the Psychological (mind ust popped?into existence out of a brain).

4? and the Moral (morality ust popped?into existence out of amorality).

 

For their many obfuscating words, the authors still don improve much

beyond the ust popped?thesis, if at all.

 

I was an atheist for 27 years. I used to play on that team. I used to pick

on religious people too. I knew the arguments to press and those to avoid.

Attack with how unscientific theism is, how religious people aren very

smart because they don chair any departments in the hard sciences at the

right schools (it really called censorship). Raise the problem of evil:

How could an omnipo-tent, loving God allow evil? Either God is not all

powerful and can destroy it, or He doesn want to. Either way there can

be a God because evil exists (don bring up the existence of good though,

it too problematic). And, finally, go for the jugular with the hypocrisy

of religious believers (You know, mention ll the wars in the name of

religion,?and ll the fallen pastors?and especially, he founders owned

slaves?stuff, it really a good distraction.)

 

Avoid the pesky problem of freewill. If atheism is true, if all that exists

is mere matter and energy, then I don have a brain, I am my brain. But if

the brain is exhaustively physical, then it is just as incapable of acting

freely as a computer or any other machine. Which is why the idea of

Artificial Intelligence makes for such fun science fiction ?the more

peo-ple believe that a computer can become a person, the less likely they

will have need to believe they were created in God image. Thus, more AI,

less theism ?that the game plan. Same with the search for ET. Find life

elsewhere so we can dismiss Genesis.

 

But, above all, avoid being cornered and forced to answer the questions of

origins. Throw out lots of words that people can understand. Talk over

them. Blind them with science. Talk about the details of the leaves on the

trees but don allow them to bring it back to hy the forest at all??Assert the fact/value distinction. Claim that only science deals with

knowledge. Drop in some postmodern gobbledygook. Distract them with how

science deals with the hat, where, how and when?and not the ho and the

why.?Especially avoid people who have had training in the philosophy of

science ?theye dangerous because they see through us and know who we are

?they don see the shimmering lab coats that everyone else sees. They

don see any clothes at all.

 

Since the pre-Socratics, atheists have been intellectual parasites living

off the host of Western Civilization. Able to con-struct so very little of

their own that is either true, good, or beautiful, they live on the borrowed

capital of their believing intellectual parents. Atheists have been

asserting the same basic mechanistic worldview, and with roughly the same

suc-cess, for centuries. They sell books and win converts from time to time,

sure, especially among those gullible enough to buy the ust popped?thesis. Don be gullible.

 

But, for me, the real value of atheism lies in bolstering belief in God.

When I doubt, I can begin to doubt my doubts by returning to the Four Big

Bangs. And, I eventually fall to my knees and worship, n the beginning,

God.

 

Title: Re: The Four Big Bangs

User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2007-05-17 23:23:49

 

The challenges that materialist atheism cannot face effectively

O'Leary

 

Our own Gil Dodgen has written some interesting posts on how he ceased to be

an atheist, and now I see that columnist Frank Pastore weighs in on the same

theme. He lists four challenges to atheism, as follows:

 

1. Origin of the universe

2. Origin of life

3. Origin of the mind

4. Origin of morality

 

What I found while researching By Design or by Chance? and The Spiritual

Brain is not that materialists have no answers but that their answers are

based mainly on promissory materialism (hey folks, wee still working on

it. Give us another few centuries R), when they are not based on

merelysuppressing dissent or promoting foolish ideas to the popular science

media.

 

Anyway, Pastore advises,

Since the pre-Socratics, atheists have been intellectual parasites living

off the host of Western Civilization. Able to con-struct so very little of

their own that is either true, good, or beautiful, they live on the borrowed

capital of their believing intellectual parents. Atheists have been

asserting the same basic mechanistic worldview, and with roughly the same

suc-cess, for centuries. They sell books and win converts from time to time,

sure, especially among those gullible enough to buy the ust popped?thesis. Don be gullible.

 

I be interested to hear Gil reaction.

The thing to keep in mind though, it seems to me, is that the

materialist/Darwinist will always come up with an explanation within his

system - in the same way and for the same reasons as the Marxist could

always come up with an explanation within his system for any given fact.

For example, according to evolutionary psychologists, religion is and is not

adaptive - both points of view can be maintained within evolutionary

psychology quite comfortably, even though they cancel each other out and

imply that the discipline -if discipline it is -is not capable of

discovering basic, definite information about the origin of religion.

The only point of view that cannot be maintained within standard

evolutionary psychology is that religion is evidence of transcendence - that

is, it arose because, at one time or another, people really did contact a

reality behind the universe.

 

I am hardly surprised to learn that dying de-spiritualized religious

denominations have been flirting with evolutionary psychology; it only

useful function, so far as I can see, is as a sort of humane lethal

injection that puts such institutions out of their collective misery before

they mislead anyone else about the nature of spiritual experience. The

would-be remaining congregants would invariably be better off somewhere else

anyway.

 

UPDATE: I can bring myself to make this a regular post, so I have simply

added it to this post. Go here to get some idea of what Darwinian biology,

pursued seriously, can lead to. (Thanks to John A. Davison, a

sometimes-banned commenter here at Uncommon Descent, for letting us know.) -

Denyse

 

Here are some of my recent posts on related subjects at the Post-Darwinist

and the Mindful Hack :

 

Denyse O?Leary take on the Economist recent relatively reasonable piece

on the growing globalization of intelligent design advocacy: I know no

reason to think that the elite Economistas are particularly happy with the

grassroots uprising against radical materialism, but one really remarkable

thing about both this article and Patricia Cohen account of a recent

debate between conservatives in The New York Times is the slow decline in

language bias. Has it begun to dawn on some newsrooms that Darwinism really

is a problem and that intelligent design is not going away?

 

Denyse Oeary take on the media significance of the fact that Michael

Behe was asked to write the entry for Richard Dawkins in Time 100.

Pope Benedict vs. a chance origin of the universe - lines from an early

lecture.

 

Why there is no compatibility between traditional communities of any kind

and accounts of spiritual beliefs derived from Darwinism.

 

A most interesting survey of views in evolutionary psychology on religious

belief makes quite clear that there is NO room in the evo psycho paradigm

for the view that spirituality relates to any fact about the universe. Hence

the folly of trying to get traditional communities to support Darwinian

evolution. .

 

On language and mystical experience: can language tell us what is real?

A Washington Post article reveals that 53 percent of university profs have

unfavorable feelings toward evangelicals. Is that partly because so many

doubt Darwin? (This one is at Access Research Network.)