Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Hypocrisy of Rational Atheists

Boy, is theism under assault in the U.S. these days. The current wave of fashionable atheism began over a decade ago and seems to have taken root like never before; various polls show that anywhere from 10-20% of the population consider themselves atheists and those numbers are climbing, even as the birthrate of Catholic Hispanics in the U.S. climbs with it. Under an unprecedented philosophical assault, theists are having a tougher and tougher time contorting arguments to make their beliefs plausible.

Why the assault, though? Presumably, the assault has to do with theism’s historical track record what with its general maliciousness towards non-believers, to say nothing of the way individual faiths may treat certain people within their sphere of influence. Not only is the oppression that is so intimately linked with religion an affront to societies that value individual freedom (or pay lip-service to individual freedom), but the fact that the epistemology of theism is not epistemology at all is also not compatible with societies that value science. [In actuality meaning that theism is not compatible with reason.] And so it is assumed by the stewards of the current atheist movement that there has to be a better way, that perhaps a world full of or run by rational atheists would be better than a world as it has been run by theists.

I don’t necessarily disagree, but my agreement is not without a flaw; that is, where is the evidence that a world full of or run by rational atheists would be any better than the world as it has been under theism? So-called rational atheists have yet to devise or implement a system of governance that can be called remotely successful: If Communism – which in theory is atheistic – is any example, the approximately 27 million victims of communist regimes demand that atheists go back to the drawing board. Is it possible a Humanist system of governance could work? There’s no evidence to go on and there is no reason to assume that any implementation of a humanist government would be peaceful, where bloodshed for the sake of any such humanist government would be in direct violation of Humanist principles. If rational atheists are so hung up on reason, logic, and evidence, they have to demonstrate how any style of governance they devise would be better than the current options. “We can’t do any worse,” is not a reasonable position to start from for a group of people who bow before logic and evidence.

If there is no evidence for the afore mentioned position taken up by rational atheists, we might be inclined to wonder what is really going on. My hypothesis is that their position is an expression of Nietzsche’s Will to Power, where the Will to Power is often expressed as the control of one person or group over another. Rational atheists are taking advantage of a system that allows debate in order to prop themselves up as important ‘intellectuals’ but often acting more like philosophical thugs, disregarding any evidence that theism is ever good because their working premise is that one cannot be a theist and also intelligent (as the two words are mutually exclusive; theist = bad person, intelligent = good person). [‘Thugs,’ of course, is a loaded word used here on purpose, because although the tools rational atheists use to make their points may be valid, in the end their aim is to undermine and devalue cultures that differ in thought, just like the people they seek to overthrow.]

While reason, logic, and evidence has led to many amazing discoveries in science, there is little evidence to support that life is actually better now than before many scientific advancements. (That is, if we’re not counting a longer life span. There’s no reason to as a longer life has not been shown to make people any happier.) And, while reason, logic, and evidence may have led to the Enlightenment ideals that formed the basis for the U.S. Constitution, how the U.S. government has evolved from its beginnings in the 18th century haven’t exactly played out according to the Constitution’s guidelines. (This may seem odd to say due in part due to much ambiguity in the Constitution.) So, rational atheists cannot point to either scientific advancements or the (alleged) best current example of free citizenry as evidence that, “We can do better.”

As I said earlier, I do not necessarily disagree that a world full of or run by rational atheists would be better than the way the world has been run under theism, but my agreement is based largely on speculation. So what I ask for from the people doing the same thing I am is to provide evidence for their assertion, seeing how they’re so much smarter than me. I mean, if I were going to make such an assertion to anyone besides myself, I would have to have some kind of outline for a system of governance that corrects the flaws in all our current systems of government, or, be able to show that a world full of rational atheists wouldn’t need a government at all. Of course, I would warn rational atheists not to use Humanism as their basis for any such government, though, as several of its principles are objectionable (at least to any rational being). Still, it wouldn’t be a terrible place to start from.

I’m not against giving rational atheists a shot at running the world, but first I want to be reasonably sure they wouldn’t abuse their power. But the evidence indicates that rational atheists are human, and evidence indicates that humans are prone to corruption regardless of their beliefs or alleged rationality.


rivermenno said...

You say, "While reason, logic, and evidence has led to many amazing discoveries in science, there is little evidence to support that life is actually better now than before many scientific advancements."

Theory, you've got to be joking! Re-read a little social history from 500 years ago and earlier.

Germ theory alone has greatly reduced suffering in modern times.

Scientific advancement has greatly reduced many problems, and that's only a start.

Of course, I agree that it has brought more problems such as nuclear weapons and Internet pornography, etc.

theoryparker said...

As it happens on occasion, my wording gets muddled so I appreciate you pointing this deficiency out. I should have said something to the effect that there is little to no evidence that our SOCIAL lives are better now than before many scientific advancements. Of course, one could argue to the contrary and say that medicine has prolonged lives and this has enhanced our social well-being, but I do not see EVIDENCE that this is true, especially since we have no little to no empirical data on the inner lives of our ancestors, even recent ones. (Where empirical data is really what so-called rational atheists rely upon to create their varied beliefs, no?)