Even atheists can learn


Too bad they only ever learn the hard way. Evidently it took a clue-bat, along with several thousand killed every single year by Islamists globally, before one Prof. Richard Dawkins was able to bring himself to admit what some of us former atheists already knew:
In a text that is coursing about on social media, professional God-slayer Richard Dawkins begrudgingly admitted that Christianity may actually be our best defense against aberrant forms of religion that threaten the world. 
“There are no Christians, as far as I know, blowing up buildings,” Dawkins said. “I am not aware of any Christian suicide bombers. I am not aware of any major Christian denomination that believes the penalty for apostasy is death.” 
In a rare moment of candor, Dawkins reluctantly accepted that the teachings of Jesus Christ do not lead to a world of terror, whereas followers of radical Islam perpetrate the very atrocities that he laments. 
Because of this realization, Dawkins wondered aloud whether Christianity might indeed offer an antidote to protect western civilization against jihad. 
“I have mixed feelings about the decline of Christianity, in so far as Christianity might be a bulwark against something worse,” he said.
In fact, Prof. Dawkins' ignorance about Christianity runs far, far derper deeper than this.

Since at least the time of the publication of his bestselling "examination" of religion and faith, The God Delusion, in 2006, Prof. Dawkins has argued in somewhat elliptical fashion that faith is stupid because Christianity is stupid. He never stopped to think that perhaps there is a bit more to the Christian faith than he might realise, and that, in reality, Judaism and Christianity- the very faiths that he spent so much time railing against- were the greatest guardians and pioneers of the very intellectual freedoms and spirit of scientific inquiry that he professed to love so much.

His argument was ridiculous, to be sure, but unfortunately far too many atheists fell for it. I am rather ashamed to admit that I was one of them.

Ten years ago, I was still very much an atheist- my journey to faith and God would take a while yet just to get fairly started- and try as He might, He still hasn't gotten me to walk into a church and get baptised. (He is awfully persuasive, though, I have to grant Him that.) But I could already see, even at that rather young age, that much of the "free-thinkers" movement was in fact composed of people so closed-minded and so incapable of questioning their own deeply held belief in the lack of belief, that they might as well have been a cult of their own.

It took another few years, and the rather timely discovery of a book called The Irrational Atheist by this fire-eating right-wing loony of a blogger named Vox Day, to set me straight and show me just how badly wrong I had been about the nature of, and the very human need for, faith.

The big difference between Vox Day and Richard Dawkins is that the former argues by way of rigourous deductive logic and empirical evidence; the latter "argues" by way of preening, hectoring, and very silly analogies. Many have tried to assail Vox's book, particularly Ch. 4, "The Religion of Reason". As far as I am aware, all have failed. By comparison, Prof. Dawkins' book is a sad patchwork of easily refuted straw-man attacks upon religion in general and Christianity in particular. William Lane Craig, among other Christian apologists, has done quite a superb job of tearing apart both the book and its author in public debates. It is telling that I read both books maybe a year or two apart- but it is Vox Day's book that I remember for the rigour of its arguments, and it is Dawkins's book that I remember chiefly for being confusing, badly written, and poorly argued.

Despite his intellectual incoherence and his inability to display the very qualities of logical deduction and empirical observation that he supposedly values so highly, Prof. Dawkins has nonetheless hit upon an important point with his observations about Christianity.

He has realised- too little and too late, perhaps- that Christianity is, on balance, a remarkably peaceful and enlightened faith. He is beginning to understand that Islam, being as it is a radical and particularly nasty Christian heresy that has unfortunately been extremely successful as such, is the single greatest danger confronting not just the faithful, but the faithless as well. He is starting to see that the Judaeo-Christian tradition holds that the Universe was created by a benevolent, loving, and above all truthful God, whose hand created a cosmos along certain basic principles and axioms, and who gave us the capacity to seek out His truth.

Most of the greatest scientific and mathematical revolutions in history came about because of Christianity, not in spite of it. This nonsense about Christianity in general, and the Catholic Church in particular, being anti-science is so absurd that if atheists really were the impartial truth-seekers that they claim to be, they would have rejected it out of hand simply by looking at the actual evidence- which they endlessly claim to do, but rarely actually bother with.

Most importantly, Prof. Dawkins and his kind are belatedly realising that the Christian emphasis on persuasion through reason rather than force of arms is in fact their greatest protection. The very institutions that they have spent so long mocking and attempting to destroy are the same things that protect them from Islam.

What does Islam have to say about atheists? Funny you should ask:
Yet seeking secular laws or social tolerance ignores the root of the problem, says Ibn Warraq, the pseudonymous Indian-born author of “Leaving Islam”, a collection of essays by ex-believers, and other books. He lives in exile and has received death threats for campaigning on the behalf of apostates. The prevailing interpretation of Islam, he says, simply cannot tolerate Muslim unbelievers. Arguments for the death penalty are usually based on a Hadith, one of the sayings which, along with the Koran, form the basis of Islamic law: “The Prophet said: whoever discards his religion, kill him.” 
Yet other texts have a different message. The Koran’s notably tolerant Sura 109 includes words such as “For you is your religion, and for me is my religion.” Moderates also note that though the Koran says blasphemers will not be forgiven, it does not mention the death penalty. Some argue that in Islam’s early years apostasy was akin to treason, earning harsh penalties that are no longer acceptable. 
Although some Islamic theologians interpret these provisions to mean that apostates will be punished in the afterlife, most see them as ordering that former Muslims must be punished by death. All four schools of Sunni Islamic law teach that male apostates should be put to death, though two say that female renegades should only be imprisoned. A number of leading Islamic figures, such as Egypt’s grand mufti and Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a Qatar-based preacher, say that the death penalty is deserved if the apostate “subverts society” or “damages Islam”.
By contrast, what did the Inquisition- that most hated and feared of all Christian institutions, and the one that atheists like Richard Dawkins always try to hold up as the ultimate example of Christian intolerance and brutality- seek to punish? Well, after the Albigensian Crusade, that would be Jewish and Muslim conversos (converts) who had not truthfully converted to Christianity but were still practicing their old faiths secretly. And the Inquisition ceased to exist centuries ago; meanwhile, political Islam is on the rise once again right now.

In an odd twist of fate, the best friend an atheist could possibly have in today's world is likely to be a fundamentalist Christian- because said "fundy" is likely to be the only one with the guns, the faith, and the will to fight for something bigger than himself. Atheists the world over are rapidly going to discover precisely why there really aren't any atheists in foxholes.

If nothing else, Prof. Dawkins's admission- which, by the way, is at least 10 years old at this point- simply proves what I have always suspected: the Big Fella Upstairs has quite the sense of humour.

Comments

  1. "If nothing else, Prof. Dawkins's admission- which, by the way, is at least 10 years old at this point- simply proves what I have always suspected: the Big Fella Upstairs has quite the sense of humour."

    It's taken me until the age of 43 to realize that the God of the Bible is a happy God, not Zeus-type god. He is no Angry God who holds all of us sinners in His hand waiting with glee to destroy us if we go against His ideas. No, He holds us in his hand waiting with glee for us to simply grasp the fact that, hey, He's got me in His hand. One of billions, and yet, He said He knows each of us. I understand that, for many atheists, such a thing cannot make sense to them. How could and why would such a God do such a thing? Too bad most of them don't make a quick comparison to how technology works, being nothing but modern applications of very, very old ideas, in that it's not even remotely impossible for us HUMANS to track ONE human all over the planet. God, being God, is not going to have any issue here keeping up with one of His own.

    And He will chase you, brother. There's no question about that. Trust me, I've tried to outrun Him many, many times. It doesn't work if He really wants your attention.







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  2. I invite your attention to: http://www.tomkratman.com/Ranttuloriad.html

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    1. Yes sir. I read it- both before and after I read The Tuloriad- last year. (I must admit, it made somewhat more sense, in terms of motivation and context at least, after.)

      I agree with you on the subject entirely. In my experience, there are few things more dangerous than an unreasoning ideologue of moderately high intelligence convinced of his own pretty-sounding arguments, who is then handed a media megaphone through which to broadcast his nonsense. (Obarmy, anyone?)

      I used to be one such atheist. I grew up. It took a LOT of hard knocks and I'm sure there are plenty more to come. The difference between me back then and me today is that I understand the point and power of faith, and do not sneer at either.

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    2. Ironically, It was Tom's tuloriad rant that made me look closely at what I was doing as well. I had had a vague sense of how things were 'messed up' before, but had foolishly tried to lay blame on feminism alone... I hadn't even remotely considered that it might be a symptom, and not a cause, of western decay.

      It took a lot of beating my head into walls before I finally realized that it was a dying country's loss of moral, ethical, and psychological integrity that was the root. The Psychotic Feminists, the destruction shysters, the warhawks and corporate powermovers, the gay agenda, the SJW's and Dawkins cultists, these were all just infections bubbling at the open wound of a lack of American Identity, an identity that Protestant Christianity was firmly a part of.

      The wound could be healed by cauterizing it, undergoing a nationwide trial by fire and restoring, painfully, our origin as an individualist christian republic, but if the infections are not dealt with first, that cauterizing will simply kill us.

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  3. DB, I figure that, if the republic is to be saved, 10 million have to go, 4 million common law felons, 5 million lefties, and 1 million of the nuttier of the righties. I admit I could be optimistic there and the numbers could be much higher.

    I never lost my faith in God, though Vatican II certainly made it waiver quite a bit when I was young. The more foolish me, because, theologically speaking, at least, Vatican II got it mostly right, however much the timing and speed of change may have been unwise. I do think dropping Latin mass was an unredeemed mistake, however.

    Thing is, however much someone like John Wright may try to reason his way to faith, I think it has to be an emotional connection; you feel the presence of the Divinity or you don't. Is there objective evidence? Clearly, but the proof is in the heart.

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    1. I admit I could be optimistic there and the numbers could be much higher.

      I suspect those are optimistic estimates, sir. My personal feeling is that the USA will likely undergo terrible internecine bloodshed before splitting into multiple political entities. The cultural idea that bound the Republic together is long gone, along with the culture that created it.

      I dearly want to be wrong. The evidence I see so far indicates that I am not.

      I think it has to be an emotional connection; you feel the presence of the Divinity or you don't

      Indeed. As I have mentioned before, I could no more explain my faith in God to a non-believer (such as my younger self) than I could explain the colour green to a man born colour-blind. Yet God remains nonetheless.

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    2. I agree completely on the issue of faith. Not everyone feels this and not everyone who feels this is Christian. Not having it in some fashion makes a person morally suspect. I'd trust a believing pagan or a druid over an atheist any day.

      RE: the union

      The US shouldn't have existed as a single polity after 1861. The kind of 1930's thru post war reprieve we got was a product of dire threats and a no longer extant demography, 90% European White where the remaining White ethnics were near assimilated,

      Its was a synthetic comity really.

      Crucifying a bunch of street rats , lib-tards and recidivist felons might make the new Republic a little safer but it won't make a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural republic actually work.

      Given that the historical US was formed on tax evasion and modernity is growing increasingly expensive and dysfunctional, we may not be able to tax enough to pay for it anyway.

      Also the real issue, machines and computers taking too many jobs to sustain a 30-40 hour a week low unemployment work culture is something today's Right is simply philosophically unequipped to deal with

      Th only way to get "the old US" and it might not work because of economics would be massive ethnic cleansing followed by a Right Wing dictatorship. The cleansing doesn't have to be lethal but it must be very thorough.


      And its not on moral grounds, the Mexican immivaders are by no means terrible people, most are Christian and family oriented to a high degree and have a tolerable work ethic however they simply aren't as smart as Whites .

      However factoring in actual White Hispanics (what Mexico would call Criollo, Peninsular and the like under the old casta system) and including the Flynn effect they come out half a standard deviation below Whites. That is not helpful to the Republic

      The Asians meet the IQ requirement but most lack the same moral foundation as Whites

      Heck we should be leery of taking in some Europeans from low trust countries as well.

      There simply are too few High Trust European Immigrants to form much of an immigrant base so other than maybe taking in all the Boers and Christian Exiles (who honestly are needed in Europe)

      As such restoring the Republic means restoring moral assumptions and Demography by force.

      I would not be sure that is possible given that the people who might oppose you, whether Leftists , Foreigners or Libertarians or anyone else also have the same access to weapons, can learn tactics and outnumber you. A decisive victory may not be possible.

      As such it might be wise to have a smaller homogeneous Republic or ten instead of what we have.

      In time if the new Republic is strong it can reconquer the other lands anyway and if its not and its birth rates don't rise, it won't matter

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