Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Atheists: on top of everything else, boring

That's the argument of (hope you're sitting down) LA Times Opinion writer Charlotte Allen. Her catchy title is Atheists: No God, no reason, just whining.

I don't get that the writer is coming from a specifically Christian worldview, but that doesn't stop her from lobbing some very effective critiques at "the new atheists."

She starts by confessing that she "can't stand atheists -- but it's not because they don't believe in God. It's because they're crashing bores." In fact, she calls them "such excruciating snoozes." She does note more contentful critiques, such as the (very on-target) note that "new" atheists indulge "in a philosophically primitive opposition of faith and reason that assumes that if science can't prove something, it doesn't exist."

But Allen says that her problem is with atheists' "tiresome -- and way old -- insistence that they are being oppressed and their fixation with the fine points of Christianity." She lampoons the chest-beating assertiosn, the lame jabs, the tired (and tiring) paint-thin mockeries.

She thinks atheists might not be the objects of such public disdain "if they stopped beating the drum until the hide splits on their second-favorite topic: How stupid people are who believe in God." She gives as an example this statement by one of atheism's poorer reps, Richard Dawkins, who says of theists:
"They feel uneducated, which they are; often rather stupid, which they are; inferior, which they are; and paranoid about pointy-headed intellectuals from the East Coast looking down on them, which, with some justification, they do."
All righty, then.


Allen also brings some effective fire on the attempted moral arguments atheists try to lodge, as well as their anger at God for "failing to create a world more to their liking."

My additions: as to the former, tens of thousands of words can't raise the argument above "Assuming that the Bible isn't true... the Bible isn't true!!!"

And the latter is just Genesis 3:5 all over again. And again. And again. And again....

Sometimes I imagine a junior demon saying to Satan, "Boss, you really have to get another sales-pitch!"

To which the first demon retorts, "Why? It works every time!"

16 comments:

Kristine said...

It would seem that God continues to bring Atheists of all varieties into my life....

Before I became a Christian, I studied different philosophies and religions extensively. So, I feel I can confidently affirm much of what Charlotte was saying when she implies that....

The 'new' atheism is simply a regurgitated mess of those philosphies which have been discarded time and time again over the years - for a whole host of reasons.

'My' atheists always surprised to discover that I'm not an idiot (in their understanding I suppose), and that I have an ability to reason. They're even more surprised when I point them to sources who can do it much better than I.

Anyways, the article was interesting. Thanks for sharing.

Ricky Rickard said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ricky Rickard said...

"They feel uneducated, which they are; often rather stupid, which they are; inferior, which they are; and paranoid about pointy-headed intellectuals from the East Coast looking down on them, which, with some justification, they do."

If you hadn't put the quote as being from Richard Dawkins, I would have thought you took it right out of my science book this quarter. Instead of leaving open the possibility of different opinions, it demeans all forms of alternatives as unintelligent or outdated. Hard to read for class when you constantly want to yell at the book.

Fred Butler said...

I always found it amusing how a group of folks who claim the world and all that it contains came into existence by random, purposeless causes, that is enslaved pretty much to its genetic determinism, advocate for free thought.

The Squirrel said...

Atheists, if they were not so sad and pathetic and annoying, would be somewhat, in a very limited way, amusing.

And, Kristine, I know exactly what you're saying... My minor in college was Anthropology, and I scored an A- in my "Human Evolution" class. So, of course, God (whoever said that God does not have a sense of humor?) always puts avowed evolutionists in my path... and I know their arguments better then they do.

~Squirrel

Al said...

I like it that Christian apologists are taking these folks on like this. They deserve to be mocked at times, answering a fool according to his own folly and all that.

Did you read the Anthony Fish articles on God in the NYT? He has abandoned his Atheism and appears to be embracing Christ. Very interesting.

There is a link at The Basket.

al sends

DJP said...

Thank you, Link Troll.

DJP said...

Er, "Al."

DJP said...

...and anyway:

Could you mean Stanley Fish?

(You're conflating with Anthony Flew, I think, an atheist-cum-theist but not a Christian at last glance.)

Also, am I not seeing the link in your article, to Fish's writing in the NYT?

Sir Aaron said...

I find it amusing that athiests subscribe to any moral values. Many popular philosophers, as noted by Francis Schaeffer, figured out that if there is no God then they should live it up now. Rape, pillage, loot...And of course, women suffer the most for it as they do in all anti-Biblical systems.

And why do Athiest's care what others believe in? (other than to sell books).

Jay said...

When athesists receive their final judgement they'll probably still be in such denial that they'll claim hell is just earth suffering from the effects of global warming they warned us about!

Al said...

yes, Stanley, that is him. my brain works in mysterious ways.

I don't know why Uri did not put a link on his post. I am a pathetic link troll it turns out.

here is the article: http://fish.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/05/17/god-talk-part-2/

eastendjim said...

She thinks atheists might not be the objects of such public disdain "if they stopped beating the drum until the hide splits on their second-favorite topic: How stupid people are who believe in God."Atheists need to constantly argue against God because they know that he is true. They really aren't arguing with Christians but with their knowledge of God that exists in their own minds.

Although Paul explains this well in his letter to the Romans, there is now a published study in New Scientist that shows that we are "born believers".

Seems the scientists have come to the realization that our brains are hard wired to believe in God and that disbelief takes effort.

Highlights from the study can be found here.

http://creation.com/how-your-brain-creates-god

Herding Grasshoppers said...

@Jay,

Best joke of the day... "global warming"!

Thanks for the laugh :0)

Dan,

The boys and I have been studying a little astronomy lately. Coincidentally, Kerry got them some sort of documentary DVD about explosions from the library. (So you can only imagine what they've been up to in their free time...)

When we discussed the theory of the Big Bang they laughed out loud at the absurdity of the notion that anything could be improved - much less created - by blowing it up.

I know you weren't specifically talking about creation or evolution, but that's where my mind went from atheism...

The boys did get a kick out of this (shamelessly linking my own blog...):

Happy Atheists DayJulie

eastendjim said...

Oops! I should explain that the "how your brain creates god" link refers only to the evolutionary spin that the original researchers put on their discovery.

Fred Butler said...

Well, its official now:

Godless, random, purposeless evolution wins.