A Rant Against the New Atheist

A Rant Against the New Atheist

I have found that many new atheists (not the old type) are not true skeptics[1] and in many ways resemble the true believers they so noisily criticize. The majority seem to be ignorant of the things they criticize and often seem to be just repeating talking points from the Internet. If you refute their arguments, they either ignore your response completely or reciprocate with a whole lot of rhetoric,[2] which is an indicator that they really did not understand their own argument to begin with or that they have ignored your response. In this, they remind of me of many of the religious folks they aggressively attack.

One thing that really irks me is the young, white male, college type, who seems to run on a 100% octane of ego. He knows nothing, or at the very best, little, about religion, theology or science, other than the twisted and shallow information he may get through the net. Even so, he blogs on as though he was an expert on the great philosophical questions of life. Many of these young men are not old enough to be experts on anything. As I reflected on this atheist type, the more this nagging question kept coming to mind: Why would young healthy males spend so much time arguing for their beliefs, if those beliefs had not become a faith (religion)? The word religion is a symbol that stands for one’s ultimate concern, and I believe for many of the new atheists, their ideology of unbelief has become their religion without them even being aware of it.

Many of the new atheist types operate from the presupposition that the only true knowledge comes from science, and yet they know little about it. If they truly understood science, they would know that science is mute and neutral when it comes to the question of God[3]. Where is the scientific argument against the existence of God? The truth is, the atheists have no scientific argument or proof that there is no God. What they have are assumptions and assertions that they arrogate as evidence. The majority need some basic knowledge of epistemology. Then they might have an awareness that large amounts of their knowledge is based on presuppositions that cannot be proven. Of course, the same could be said for the theist. However, astute theists understand the source of their knowledge and therefore, understand that the root of their knowledge is faith. In this acknowledgment, they reflect self-awareness and a basic honesty that many atheists do not have about the foundation of their beliefs.

Here is the source of much of the problematic thinking of the new atheist; he cannot tell the difference between the facts and his opinion or interpretation of the facts. This is a problem that all true believers have, whether religious or nonreligious, and yes, most atheists are true believers and think as true believers do, i.e., one-dimensional and concrete. Atheists are the fundamentalists of the secular minded and therefore, are mirror images of the far right they criticize and hate.

Another thing that irks me is the undercurrent of intellectual snobbery that fills the majority of atheist blogs. Seldom do I read a blog or interact with new atheist types without them inferring someway that they are intellectually superior to believers. Therefore, they write as though the fundamentals and presuppositions of their materialistic worldview have been proven and are now a fact that all educated people believe. The truth is that only a small minority of people believe in materialism and even fewer live it out consistently, which is strange for an ideology that claims to reflect reality (note the facts below) 4 For example, I recently had one writer say he, “could not believe in God because nature was a closed system and was the whole show,” i.e., the only thing that existed. This is like saying there is no God because there is no God and there is no God because I believe there is no God. This is an argument from an unprovable assumption that nature is all there is or that it is the whole show. From a scientific perspective, a scientist can say that we only study nature. However, if they add, because that’s all that exists, they are no longer speaking as scientists but rather as philosophers. It is here that it becomes obvious that what most people consider science has a metaphysical basis that is used to interpret the facts. Sorry, there is no such thing as pure science.

The bottom line is this: I wish the new atheists would stop polluting science by bringing it into the mud puddle of their atheistic apologetics. Science cannot prove or disprove the existence of God Who is outside nature. In fact, at this time science does not even have the knowledge or tools to prove or disprove the existence of God within nature. For all science knows, Zeus may be somewhere out there in the universe. At the very best, scientists can simply say that they have not found Him. Of course, the honest ones would admit that they do not know what they would be looking for if they were looking for him, it or she, which means if they found it they may not recognize it.

Still another thing that irritates me about the new atheists is their constant attacks on organized religion. They seem to be obtuse to the fact that like anything, religion can be good or bad depending on the men who are in it and controlling it. Unfortunately, the more power any human organization has the more prone it is to corruption; this is true for government, religion and even charitable organizations. This is also true for atheism. When government and atheism were mixed in communist Russia and China, it became more corrupt than the religions it was trying to replace. However, the new atheists continue to try to organize themselves, thinking they are going to be the angels of light who save the world from darkness. We have heard that rhetoric before, and it has always led to tyranny.

[1] The majority of the new atheists do not qualify as true skeptics because of their blind faith in science, reason, and human knowledge in general. A true skeptic doubts everything, even their doubts. I have found in my discussions with atheists that I am far more skeptical about things in general than they are.

[2] The rhetoric is usually in the form of rehearsing the tall tale of undirected evolution, which is based on suppositions and assertions only.

[3]  The US National Academy of Sciences has gone on record with the following statement: “Science is a way of knowing about the natural world. It is limited to explaining the natural world through natural causes. Science can say nothing about the supernatural. Whether God exists or not is a question about which science is neutral.”  Taken from “Who Made God?:A Searching for a Theory of Everything” by Fay Weldon.

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