Archive for the ‘atheism’ Category

Hardy achieved all his aims but doubted they had purpose

August 9, 2014

When, at the end of his life, Thomas Hardy was questioned on the realization of his ambitions, he said, “he had done all that he meant to do, but he did not know if it had been worth doing.”

 

Iain Murray, The Undercover Revolution, p.45

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Elton John has made a Jesus to his own liking

June 30, 2014

The church hierarchy, the traditionalists, might be up in arms about (gay marriage) but times have changed. If Jesus Christ was alive today, I cannot see him, as the Christian person that he was and the great person that he was, saying this could not happen. He was all about love and compassion and forgiveness and trying to bring people together and that is what the church should be about.

Elton John

Not that Jesus was even a Christian…but He certainly affirmed the teaching of the Jewish Scriptures and that did include Leviticus 18:22 etc. By reaffirming Genesis 2:24 in Matthew 19 Jesus makes heterosexual, exclusive, monogamous unions the God ordained norm. Elton John may not like that but saying what he does belies ignorance of the historical Jesus.

human beings are of no matter or appreciable value in this nonchalant universe

February 4, 2014

human beings are of no matter or appreciable value in this nonchalant universe

Thomas Hardy, Preface to Moments of Vision

He wrote these poems to ‘mortify the human sense of self importance by showing, or suggesting, that human beings are of no matter or appreciable value in this nonchalant universe’. In other words, to dismantle the Judeo-Christian idea of the imago dei, the value of human beings.

Anyone who has read Jude the Obscure will recognise the despair his worldview evokes.

if I could believe in the immortality business, the world would indeed be too good to be true

January 27, 2014

“Yes, if I could believe in the immortality business, the world would indeed be too good to be true; but…the sods cover us, and the worm that never dies, the conscience, sleeps well at last.” Man “can tell himself this fairy tale of an eternal tea-party; and enjoy the notion…that his friends will yet meet him. But the truth is, we must fight on until we die, and…resumption into—what?”

Robert Louis Stevenson, letter to Edmond Gosse, 1886

Notice his certainty about an state of existence he has no knowledge of. How can he know the ‘conscience sleeps well at last’?

The Poison of Subjectivism

June 12, 2013

If “good” means only the local ideology, how can those who invent the local ideology be guided by any idea of good themselves? The very idea of freedom presupposes some objective moral law which overarches rulers and ruled alike. Subjectivism about values is eternally incompatible with democracy. We and our rulers are of one kind only so long as we are subject to one law. But if there is no Law of Nature, the ethos of any society is the creation of its rulers, educators and conditioners; and every creator stands above and outside his creation.

Unless we return to the crude and nursery-like belief in objective values, we perish. If we do, we may live, and such a return might have one minor advantage. If we believed in the absolute reality of elementary moral platitudes, we should value those who solicit our votes by other standards than have recently been in fashion. While we believe that good is something to be invented, we demand of our rulers such qualities as “vision,” “dynamism,” “creativity,” and the like. If we returned to the objective view we should demand qualities much rarer, and much more beneficial – virtue, knowledge, diligence and skill.

The Poison of Subjectivism, C.S. Lewis

All human beings are equal, but all cultures and religions are not

April 11, 2013

All human beings are equal, but all cultures and religions are not.

Aayan Hirsi Ali, Nomad, Simon & Schuster, 2010, p.212

But how does Aayan grant such a status to all peoples regardless of achievement, talents and wealth? And from what vantage point can she declare de haut en bas that some societies are morally superior to others? What grounds her secular faith?

An atheist’s self-contradiction

April 11, 2013

The Enlightenment honors life. It is not about honor after death or honor in the hereafter, as Islam is, but honor in individual life, now. It is about development of the individual will, not the submission of the will. Islam, by contrast, is incompatible with the principles of liberty that are at the heart of the Enlightenment’s legacy.

Aayan Hirsi Ali, Nomad, Simon & Schuster, 2010, p. 214

Yet Aayan supports abortion. Isn’t the abortion issue all about honouring the ‘individual life now’?

This is the problem when, like Aayan, you chart your own moral course apart from God. The end is not merely God’s displeasure, but inevitably self-contradiction.

 

Where relativism tends

October 16, 2012

Just months before he died, Jimmy Savile boasted that he “hadn’t got a conscience” and joked about being brought before a judge.

In one of his final interviews, given to a tiny Highlands radio station, the disgraced DJ revealed that he lived his life by the credo “What I feel is right is right”.

Savile — accused of sexually abusing girls across Britain — boasted that every day was Christmas for a “professional single fella” like him.

Times

What he felt was right was actually wrong. But whilst many are quick to castigate his actions, his creed is widely held.

He said of the Catholic church:

“I don’t listen to the church. I listen to myself.”

 

He repeated this creed in his apparent defence of Gary Glitter:

“Whether it (Glitter having idecent images on his computer hard drive) was right or wrong is, of course, it’s up to him as a person”

‘Of course’ it isn’t.

Atheist Totalitarianism

September 15, 2011

On some estimates, a sixth of the population of the former German Democratic Republic were Mitarbeiter—collaborators with the secret police, the Stasi—and had spied upon and denounced their neighbors, friends, relatives, and even spouses. Once the archives opened and people could read their security dossiers for themselves, they discovered in many cases that those to whom they had relayed their private thoughts had relayed them in turn to the Stasi, in return, practically, for nothing except the informer’s satisfaction of being on the right side of the powerful. Those whom people had thought were their best friends turned out to be the very ones whose denunciation had resulted in their otherwise inexplicable failure to gain promotion in their work, sometimes for decades. Such discoveries were not conducive to a favorable or optimistic view of human nature or the trust upon which a secure social life is built. The GDR, founded on a political theory that made a fetish of human solidarity, turned everyone into an atom in the asocial ether.

Theodore Dalrymple

Religion poisons everything: Really?

September 15, 2011

Lying not far beneath the surface of all the neo-atheist books is the kind of historiography that many of us adopted in our hormone-disturbed adolescence, furious at the discovery that our parents sometimes told lies and violated their own precepts and rules. It can be summed up in Christopher Hitchens’s drumbeat in God Is Not Great: “Religion spoils everything.”

What? The Saint Matthew Passion? The Cathedral of Chartres? The emblematic religious person in these books seems to be a Glasgow Airport bomber—a type unrepresentative of Muslims, let alone communicants of the poor old Church of England. It is surely not news, except to someone so ignorant that he probably wouldn’t be interested in these books in the first place, that religious conflict has often been murderous and that religious people have committed hideous atrocities. But so have secularists and atheists, and though they have had less time to prove their mettle in this area, they have proved it amply. If religious belief is not synonymous with good behavior, neither is absence of belief, to put it mildly.

In fact, one can write the history of anything as a chronicle of crime and folly. Science and technology spoil everything: without trains and IG Farben, no Auschwitz; without transistor radios and mass-produced machetes, no Rwandan genocide. First you decide what you hate, and then you gather evidence for its hatefulness…

… the absence of religious faith, provided that such faith is not murderously intolerant, can have a deleterious effect upon human character and personality. If you empty the world of purpose, make it one of brute fact alone, you empty it (for many people, at any rate) of reasons for gratitude, and a sense of gratitude is necessary for both happiness and decency. For what can soon, and all too easily, replace gratitude is a sense of entitlement. Without gratitude, it is hard to appreciate, or be satisfied with, what you have: and life will become an existential shopping spree that no product satisfies.

Atheist Theodore Dalrymple being a bit more balanced than the absurd claim of Christopher Hitchens