Monday, February 23, 2015

Atheism and violence again

Exactly. In the past, an atheist debate will very often assert that they have no intention of convincing anyone to be an atheist. It doesn't matter to them. Or so they said back then. 

But now it does. We can rate people with respect to how much they care whether people believe as they did with respect to religion. Some Christians really care about the beliefs of others, because they think their eternal destiny hangs in the balance. This leads to something I used to call hyper-evangelicalism. 

Some Christians don't care at all what others believe. I am somewhere in the middle; as a believer I hate seeing people intimidated out of their religious beliefs. 

But atheists, and least under the influence of New Atheism, seem to be more and more evangelistic. The idea seems to be that the world is on a cusp, between falling back into a new dark age through religion, or getting beyond this by embracing science, and therefore scientific materialism. 

This has been coupled with what I consider to be a hate message toward religious belief. There is even a slur-word, faith-head, which is used against religious believers. We are told that nothing short of naked contempt is deserved for people who believe in God, that their position merits ridicule and nothing but ridicule. 

One can, I suppose, try to escape the charge of hate by accepting some version "hate the belief, love the believer." But these are the same people who will respond to "hate the sin, love the sinner" with respect to homosexuality as proof of blatant bigotry. Why this is not blatant intellectual dishonesty is beyond my comprehension. 

Why could we possibly believe that, sooner or later, this whole mind-set will not erupt in violence on the part of somebody. Whether Hicks is that somebody or not is not the main thing I am bringing up for consideration. The step from viewing an idea as genuinely detestable to killing those who advocate the idea is not that big of a step, is it really?

Atheists might reply that since they've got evidence on their side, they won't need violence. But they are the same people who say that religious believers just won't listen to reason. So, what is to be done with them?

Just put "a new dark age" in for "hell" and you can see why someone might use force on behalf of atheism.
The more atheists insist that they are immune from the kind of temptation that leads to religious violence, the more concern I have. If you really think atheism leaves you with "nothing to kill or die for,"
then all I can give you is the Strait answer

I got some ocean front property in Arizona.
From my front porch you can see the sea.
I got some ocean front property in Arizona.
If you'll buy that, I'll throw the golden gate in free.

Friday, February 20, 2015

A Portrait of the North Carolina Killer


Doesn't hatred always have the potential for violence? Why are atheists immune to this?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Is heaven a bribe? C. S. Lewis on mercenary motives to do good

Is the only religious motive morality the fear of hell and the hope of heaven? Couldn't religion motivate someone to do what is right for other reasons, such as the desire to fulfill one's true purpose as a human being? 

“We are afraid that Heaven is a bribe, and that if we make it our goal we shall no longer be disinterested. It is not so. Heaven offers nothing that the mercenary soul can desire. It is safe to tell the pure in heart that they shall see God, for only the pure in heart want to. There are rewards that do not sully motives. A man's love for a woman is not mercenary because he wants to marry her, nor his love for poetry mercenary because he wants to read it, nor his love of exercise less disinterested because he wants to run and leap and walk. Love, by definition, seeks to enjoy its object.”

― C.S. LewisThe Problem of Pain

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Friday, February 13, 2015

People who have seen God


Theme Song for Religion and Morality: Will Your Lawyer Talk to God for You?

Country Singer Kitty Wells makes a religious appeal against a husband who has wronged her. This seems to show a role that religion plays in at least some contexts for morality. It goes without saying that if atheism is true, the song makes no sense.