Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


ARE THESE CRITICISMS OF THE NEW ATHEISM OF DAWKINS AND CO WORTH CONSIDERING?

The New Atheism (2004) took the form of debating religious claims more and increasing literary output in favour of atheism.

The critics went into overdrive.

They say Dawkins and the New Atheists say they have all the answers while they criticise religion for making this claim.

They say the true religion or the true philosophy will have all the answers though that does not mean it will make much of an effort to teach these answers.

If somebody has all the answers then why can't it be Dawkins and his New Atheists? Perhaps Dawkins and the New Atheists do not have all the answers but have all the main answers?

They say Dawkins and the New Atheists condemn blind faith as bad but blind doubt is bad too. Blind faith is faith that may use evidence but which doesn't really give a toss about evidence. A person who believes his dog is God may claim to have some evidence such as answers to prayer and a miracle cure from cancer. If you explain the answers to prayer and the miracle cure as mere coincidence and as unconnected to the divine dog the person will still believe without the evidence. Blind faith may not use evidence at all. It may ignore all the evidence that it is wrong. When you have blind faith, you are telling the world that you want to believe something but don't want to think about it or think it through. In other words, you have no belief of any kind and are engaging in self-deception.

But back to blind doubt. Blind doubt would mean you are doubting something in the absence of evidence that it is suspect or wrong. Or you are doubting in spite of the evidence that it is right.

Blind doubt is more acceptable than blind faith. It may do terrible damage in individual situations but generally it is less dangerous than blind faith. The blind doubter will be unwilling to blow an airplane up for Allah. The blind believer may be willing to do it.

In relation to religion, secularists act as if they are doubters and so they keep neutral and do not let religion tell the state what to do. Because there are so many religions and so many unbelievers, secularism is the right attitude to politics. Religion has the arrogance to challenge this. Christianity complains that it is a denial that God is best for us meaning that faith in God is best for us too.

Dawkins and the New Atheists are accused of blind doubt - and this despite the fact that they have accumulated more evidence to justify their unbelief than most believers do to justify their belief! The accusation is a vicious insult. It is scornful.

They worry about how certain Dawkins and the New Atheists purport to be so certain. But they base their non-belief on evidence - thus they only claim to be certain in so far as the evidence speaks and there is nothing the matter with that!

Faith in x is to doubt y so blind faith in God is blind doubt of atheism. Faith is not a thing but a side of a coin.

It all comes down to evidence.

Dawkins and the New Atheists would agree that we must not hurt innocent babies for fun. Christians would say that this is wrong not because it hurts the babies but because God forbids it. They have to say that for God comes first and Jesus said he is to be our only value when he told us to love him with all our being. They will say that we must help the babies whether God is believed in or not. They will say that it is not helping the babies that is wrong but merely doing it for the babies and not for God. So they contradict themselves. If it is wrong to help the babies for the babies and not God then unbelievers are really mocking good by the good they are doing. It would seem that the unbelievers then should get no praise at all for the person who dresses up evil as good is worse than the person who lets their evil be plainly seen. Their action is only outwardly good while they are inwardly evil. Belief in God infers that unbelievers should not do good works at all. If Dawkins the New Atheists are fundamentalists and bigots and arrogant then the Christians surpass them by far in fundamentalism and bigotry and arrogance. And that tacitly and implicitly at best and explicitly at worst.

(Note: I have proven elsewhere that belief in a God of perfection and love does not suggest he has the right to confer moral obligations on us. So have I contradicted this by saying unbelievers should get no praise from believers at all if they do good? No. Its only evil if you assume God lays down moral laws and it is his business what we do. To say it is God's affair what we do is always always a fundamentalist supposition and is about trying to manipulate people to do what the Church determines is God's will. God can take care of his own problems so he has no right to demand that we do his will. And unbelievers cannot get praise from consistent believers but that does not mean the latter are right. They are wrong. Unbelievers should get praise.)

They criticise the New Atheist hostility to the creation story in the Bible. They argue that he fails to perceive that it is a good thing to believe that God made you for no reason but out of his creativity and that you were made good. Genesis and the Bible never assert that God made us for no reason but his creativity. Religion says that even though God is all-powerful he does not get all his own way for his own creatures turned against him against his will. So it follows that there could be reasons we do not know why God had to make us the way he did. He might not have had as much free rein with creativity as we think. And as for us being made good according to the believers, they ignore the rest of the Genesis story which says the whole goodness thing went all wrong when the first sin was committed and creation was ruined. Also we are not partners in creation. God made us and keeps us in being and we do nothing to help him. The doctrine of creation is not inspiring. It is not beautiful no matter who persuades themselves that it is. It is not dignifying.

Dawkins and the New Atheists go along with society's hypocrisy at times but not to the extent that Christianity does. Dawkins and the New Atheists will pretend that your counsellor who believes abortion is wrong is not judging you as you tell her or him about your abortion. If an atheist does this it is not a huge crime. But if you believe in a God of truth and infinite goodness then your hypocrisy is a serious affront to him. Belief in God as a lawgiver who has a right to be obeyed means you intend more evil when you are being evil or hypocritical than you would if you were an atheist. Belief in this God exacerbates evil.

Creation teaches that God made all things out of nothing. This treats nothing as a material out of which something can be made which is nonsense. When you point that out, they start saying that God merely asked or willed creation to exist and it appeared. That denies that God really made anything. He just said, "Exist!" and all things exist. Telling something to exist is not making it. God uses no power to make the universe so he did not make it. It just happened to appear. Creation is pure nonsense. The New Atheists need to focus more on the logical absurdities of creation theory than on dissecting the creation story in the Bible.

They criticise Dawkins and co for saying that before science people were stupid. In relation to Christianity, this was certainly true. They even went as far as to say Jesus was fully man and also God. They said that though he couldn't sin, he deserved praise for not sinning! Only a being with real free will could deserve praise! Christianity boasted about how it loves sinners and how God loves them while it pretended to judge the sin and not judge the sinner as if a sin could be guilty of murder and not a person! Their virtue and their belief in the love of God was all based on lies and deceit. To call a person a sinner is to admit that the sin is not separate from them and that sin is in people not in actions. It left the Christians without genuine moral boundaries so they were easily able to pray the rosary one minute and butcher heretics the next and then praise God for their success in extirpating the unfortunate people they classed as heretical vermin.

Love the sinner and hate the sin is delusion. Sin is the sinner for sin shows what you are as a person so when you rephrase it as love the sinner and hate the sinner you see its deception. To regard John's essay as bad is to say John is bad at least in so far as he is an essay writer. Without the love sinner hate sin delusion one cannot believe in God because it would mean believing in an evil god who hates us. God by definition would be good. An evil God would be defective and insane and not capable of full and real control of anything and would not be a real god. The New Atheism of Dawkins and friends has been vindicated!