Saturday, August 14, 2010

Atheism is not Ethical

Recently, I've recovered my email and got back on the site. It was my old school email, and it took a while, which is why I haven't been able to blog very much lately.

My story The Freethinker's Child should be published soon by Facebook, and I will post details here. I have a Christmas story, and some other ideas that I want to get published sometime in the near future by someone.

For now, though, I want to talk about atheism. I recently had exchange with an ideological atheist, who, rather typically, was rather rude in his response. This was in response to a post I made on his blog about how I don't beleive that the Lord sends people to heaven or hell based on beleiving in certain facts. His response was that I can beleive whatever irrational B. S. I choose, and he has every right to critize my beleifs. This (according to him) is because irrational beleifs lead to irratinal actions.

What irrational actions have I taken in reponse to beleiving that Christ is Lord? Specifically, behaving more generously toward others, and giving more to charity. This is what Christianity should be about. Atheism, by the way, has contributed nothing aleviating human suffering, despite the claims of tis propoants. Notice, I didn't say "science" "rationality", "skeptical inquiry" or any of the things atheists claim to value highly. I said "atheism,"; in other words, the mere lack of beleif in a higher power.

What said atheist is practicing is called "conversational intolerence." I wrote another post about just this, where I made the point that conversational intolerance will only manage to antagonize and alienate the relgious and will contribute nothing toward making the world a better place. The thing is, since atheists are at liberty disregard the teachings of Jesus, including the "golden rule," as "bronze age mythology", they are under no obligation to "Do Unto Others." They will say, of course, that being conversationally intolerant of religious beleif is actually a virtue, and that they are fighting for rationality, and essentially making the world a better place. As I have also shown before, there are atheists out there who are actually contemptuous toward the poor, and have a sort of "Social Darwinian" attitude toward struggling families

It is not lack of rationality that is the problem here, but plain old tribalism. Chimps, who have nothing that could be remotely classifed as a religion exhihbit a feirce and extreme form of tribalism, in which tribes of chimps slaughter other tribes, including infants. And I can't help beleiving that "conversational intolerence" itself is an expression of tribalism. True, atheists are not making war on theists today beyond flame wars on internet forums (though in past times, during the French Revolution and in Soviet Russia, self-styled rationalists were far less civil), but neither are modern Christians. We have indeed made much social progress over the centuries, and the social climate has a civilizing effect those of all ideologies. And atheists today are exhibiting very strong tribalistic tendencies, especially when it comes to of "conversational intolerence." Or to take another, related, example, when they disown even "moderate" Christians. Supposedly this is because "moderation" in religion provides cover for those who are more extreme, but where is the actual evidence for this? There are a good many "moderate" Christians who agree with atheists on issues such opposing creationism in the public school. But it seems most atheists refuse to join forces with these believers, even in pursuit of a common goal. This sounds very like tribalism to me, whatever the stated rationale.

Atheism, taken simply, is merely the beleif that no gods exist. It has no tenets, dogmas, or religious rituals. However, many athiests behave as though it does, regardless of the fact that they often state that an athiest may belive whatever he wants beyond the existence of a deity. I've been on forums where atheists will harshly criticize, even crucify those whose beleifs refuse to conform to majority, on topics like beleif in an afterlife, euthanasia or abortion--and this even includes fellow atheists.

Atheism may not technically be a religion. But the brand promoted by today's leading intellectual freethinker's is most certainly a worldview, an ideology, a beleif system, complete with its own norms and standards of right and wrong. Atheism isn't tribalistic? Don't kid yourself.

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