Posted by: the watchmen | November 4, 2008

Science or Supersticion?


Posted: October 31, 2008
1:00 am Eastern

By Tom Flannery
© 2008 

 

With the emergence of the New Atheist movement in recent years – led by the unholy trinity of Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris – many have become convinced that religious faith is, as Dawkins puts it, “dangerously irrational.”

So, a comprehensive new study released by Baylor University, entitled “What Americans Really Believe” must have come as quite a shock to their systems. It turns out the empirical data show that atheists are the ones who are susceptible to irrational thought, much more so than traditional believers.

According to the study, 31 percent of people who never attend worship services expressed strong belief in such things as Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster, advanced civilizations like Atlantis, haunted houses and the possibility of communicating with the dead. Only 8 percent of people who attend a house of worship more than once a week shared those beliefs.

Moreover, the study found that evangelical, conservative Christians were far less likely to hold such irrational beliefs than those who belong to liberal denominations or congregations. As noted in an article in the Wall Street Journal, the study “shows that traditional Christian religion greatly decreases belief in everything from the efficacy of palm readers to the usefulness of astrology” whereas “the irreligious and the members of more liberal Protestant denominations, far from being resistant to superstition, tend to be much more likely to believe in the paranormal and in pseudoscience than evangelical Christians.”

 

     

“The reality is that the New Atheist campaign, by discouraging religion, won’t create a new group of intelligent, skeptical, enlightened beings,” the Journal article cautioned. “Far from it: It might actually encourage new levels of mass superstition.” So much for Harris’ warning about “the lunatic influence of religious belief.”

Perhaps this is because the New Atheists’ rejection of God is itself so irrationally conceived. In his new book “The End of Reason” (written primarily as a response to Harris’ “The End of Faith” and “Letter to a Christian Nation”), Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias shows the myriad scientific and philosophical contradictions contained in their arguments.

For instance, the New Atheists roundly argue that a just and moral God cannot exist because there is so much injustice and immorality in the world. They claim that the God of the Bible, were He to exist, would not only be an accessory to all this evil but would be its very source.

Zacharias points out that apart from God, such concepts as justice and morality are absolutely meaningless. Without Him, there would be no ultimate, objective source of truth to which all mankind could rely, so we would have to ask anyone who talked of such things as justice and morality, “Whose idea of justice? Whose definition of morality?”

This is something the atheists of old instinctively understood and were intellectually honest enough to affirm. In his book, Zacharias quotes the atheistic French philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who described existence without God as a world in which “we stray through an infinite nothing, with no up or down left. Lanterns must be lit in the morning hours and sacred games invented to take the place of religious ceremony.”

Is it any wonder that at an atheist gathering at the Salk Institute, Carolyn Porco proposed that science create its own religious-like rituals and ceremonies to inspire awe at the wonders of science? As the data from the Baylor University study demonstrate, those who reject biblical truth end up believing all kinds of irrational lies, and end up turning from what the Bible calls “pure and undefiled religion” (James 1:27) to the false religions of humanism, science, reason (as if human reason could somehow fully comprehend a transcendent God), and so on.

Zacharias relates that Harris’ antagonism toward God “ends up proving that he intuitively finds some things reprehensible. But he cannot explain his innate sense of right and wrong – the reality of God’s law written on his heart – because there is no logical explanation for how that intuition toward morality could develop from sheer matter and chemistry.”

Ultimately, Zacharias explains, Harris’ tirade against God is founded solely on his own emotional reaction to the fallen world he sees around him, rather than on solid reasoning or true science. He writes of Harris: “His emotion-laden critique hangs on an argument that says, ‘I can see no moral framework operating in the world, but what I do see is morally condemnable.’ In philosophical terms, this is called a mutually exclusive assumption.”

Moreover, how can there be true justice in a world where physical death is the end of existence and there is no final judgment to face in the afterlife? Zacharias writes: “Think of young Seung-Hui Cho, a student at Virginia Tech University, who slaughtered 32 students and professors and then shot himself. He has won in a world where there is no justice.” For Harris to posit that “to forfeit ultimate justice beyond the grave is no big loss because of the momentary pleasures of existence in the here and now” is in effect to “make the Hitlers and Stalins of history who died without being brought to justice the real winners.”

For God to remove suffering in the world as it presently exists, He would also have to abolish the free will of man. Since Harris, Hitchens, et. al. already denounce Him as some sort of a celestial tyrant, can you imagine how much further unhinged they would become by such an act as that?

Zacharias explains: “The story of suffering cannot be told without the story of human pride and our need for God to change our hearts. Is Harris really demanding that God create in us the ability to love without giving us the option to reject that love, the desire to trust and to be trusted without the freedom to doubt, the privilege of making a choice without the responsibility of accepting the ramifications of that choice?”

Conversely, how does Nietzsche’s vision of a world without God end? Zacharias informs us: “Finally, he said, a universal madness would break out when the truth of what mankind had done in killing God dawned on us. Nietzsche himself spent the last 13 years of his life in the darkness of insanity, while his godly mother watched over him by his bedside.”

The truth is that the New Atheists, who worship at the altar of human reason, aren’t very good when it comes to reasoning; and their veneration of science all too often hides a preoccupation with pseudoscience. Though they rail against superstition, they are in fact its biggest proponents.

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Responses

  1. boring

  2. TOO MUCH INFO


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