Friday, 17 September 2010

Objections To Vocal Atheism

Perhaps it's a symptom of the news cycle, but apart from Michaed Dowd there seems to be no defenders of what is referred to as the new atheism. In fact, the reaction from many is aggression casting out those who speak out against the concept of God by casting them as militant, fundamentalist, and even some (such as the Pope) comparing them to Nazis. With all the vitriol directed at the likes of Richard Dawkins, it's like he's a child-raping mass-murderer who dines on puppies and bathes in the tears of weeping slave-girls.

Yet I don't feel that actually goes far enough to adequately describe what is essentially shooting the messenger. The contention is the cessation of religious privilege in a secular society, which upon even the merest reflection should be desirable whether religious or not, and the charge that in addition to being wrong the concept of a deity and supporting dogma can have negative consequences. This is hardly rounding up people into the gas chambers...

Akin to my unsinkable rubber ducks post, here are many objections levelled against those who publicly argue their heretical views. From different views to different arguments, taking Nietzsche's statement: "God is dead" as a metaphor for the arguments and attitudes against theism and religion and capturing what those objections are. If I've missed any, feel free to add to the list.

"How do you respond to the atheist's charge that God is dead?"
Literalist theist: If anyone claims God is dead then they haven't read The Bible properly.

Fundamentalist theist: If God was really dead then why did blasphemer Christopher Hitchens get cancer?

Liberal theist: That conception of God takes the concept too literally.

Sophisticated theist: Indeed the conception of what they say is God is dead, but that's because they are describing God in a way that doesn't adequately respond to the majesty of the concept.

Pantheist: God is dead represents a personal failing to respect the grandeur of nature.

Weak agnostic: You can't prove that God is dead, so keep an open mind about it.

Strong agnostic: To say God is dead assumes that you can know what God is.

Accomodationist: If you think God is dead then keep that to yourself because we want believers to embrace science.

Philosophy undergrad: By saying God is dead in that way, you're engaging in scientism.

"How would you respond to one who proclaims God is dead?"
The Grandma gambit: Before you say God is dead, think of how your dear sweet grandmother would take it.

Charity: To pronounce God is dead is to forget the good people do in its name.

Fear: If you pronounce God is dead, then they'll behave as if no-one is watching.

Trilemma: Saying God is dead is calling Jesus a liar or a lunatic. Could someone so wise be taken as either?

History: The gospels are a clear testimonial to the living God.

Meaning: Anyone who claims God is dead should be sad that all meaning has been destroyed in the world.

Morality: The recognition of good requires a standard by which good is set, and for Natural Law you need a Natural Law giver.

Teleology: How can you say God is dead when the perfection of the eye is testament to His craftsmanship?

First cause: If God is dead then who brought something from nothing?

Fine-tuning: The size of the carbon atom needs to be so precise to allow for our existence that it attests that God isn't dead.

Nazism: Do you know who else claimed God is dead? Hitler!

Stalinism: Russia codified the notion that God is dead and look what happened.

Beauty: There is just too much beauty in the world to entertain the notion that God is dead.

Consciousness: By saying God is dead, it's claiming that matter can think.

Free will: If God is dead then humans would be bound to physical law, thus all actions are beyond their control.

Certainty: Without the revelation from an infallible deity, you can't be certain of anything including that God is dead.

Being a dick: It's not so much that you say God is dead, it's the way you say it. The best way to say it is not saying anything at all.


John Morales said...

Very nice indeed!

Should be in the Carnival Of The Godless.

Mattir said...

So does one have to pick just one category?

franklin percival said...

Nicely! May I quote, please? I'll try to remember attribution.

Kel said...

Franklin, you're more than welcome to.

John, how do I get on the Carnival Of The Godless?

John Morales said...