Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Derbyshire's Dismissal Part II

See Part I.

John Derbyshire continues in the same vein:

He quotes a priest, who said: "The most monstrous evils of human history were the totalitarian wars and genocides of the twentieth century, most of which were perpetrated by unbelievers, yet fellow unbelievers express neither acknowledgment nor remorse."

As far as body count goes, he's correct. It's also true that most of these atrocities were committed by unbelievers. Going for the trifecta, he's right, yet again, that atheists generally don't acknowledge the connection between these crimes and atheism.

Derbyshire's response to the priest:

So because I decline to believe in some of the same things that Lenin declined to believe in (heliolatry, the Divine Compassion of Avalokitesvara, Hollow Earth Theory, the Easter Bunny, Christianity, witchcraft, Unkulunkulu, homeopathy, the Great Manitou, … there must be quite a lot …), then there is a presumed "fellowship" between me and Lenin? I'd be offended by this if it weren't so toe-curlingly silly. How about noticing that Lenin & Co. did the beastly things they did because they believed certain particular things, and then applying guilt-by-association only to people who believe the same things?

Why not toss in Leprechauns, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, and Quetzalcoatl, while you're doing a Google search for cutesy things to say? This is what I meant in the earlier post: Derbyshire isn't interested in a serious, accurate, honest appraisal; he's far more drawn to idiocy. The above paragraph offers us two implications: 1.) All beliefs that I, John Derbyshire, reject are equally ridiculous. There's not a whit of difference between two thousand years of Christian teaching and influence, and Peter Cottontail, hoppin' down the bunny trail. 2.) Atheism had no relation to the beliefs and actions of Lenin, or any of the sundry other 20th century mass murderers.

The first implication is infantile and deceptive, so I see no reason to address it further.

The second demonstrates willful ignorance of history--a pigheaded refusal to look at the facts. Lenin hated religion. He didn't merely find it silly. He loathed it with a virulence so great, one wonders if he actually believed in God, but held a grudge against his creator. Furthermore, he was a huge proponent of atheist propaganda. He believed that the people should be saturated with it, until they ate, slept, and breathed atheism. Suggesting that atheism had little or nothing to do with Lenin's actions indicates one's dearth of knowledge about the man, nothing more. The other tyrants we know and love--Stalin, Mao--also despised religion and championed atheism. Hitler was more pagan than atheist, but he saw Christianity and typical religion in general as the enemy. He worshipped an Aryan god created in the image he formulated.

All of these men clung to Darwinian evolution--the belief that humans progressed upward from primitive, animalian forebears. They rejected the notion that "God created the heavens and the earth."

If God doesn't exist--or is irrelevant to life on Earth--then human beings have no risk of facing accountability in an afterlife or even temporal reprimand from a heavenly father.

Worse, the only rules are those that one man--or a group of men--can impose upon others. The atheist can wax sophistically about his feelings or societal consensus, but that's all bunk, and he knows it, if he has a mote's-worth of integrity in his heart.

So if the atheist is correct in his philosophical outlook, we live in a world with no God, no accountability after death, possibly even oblivion after we die. We have no rules save those that we concoct for convenience's sake. Our feelings determine right and wrong, and those change on a whim. Humans are nothing more than animals who have learned to rule the food chain. There is no external order, no Dickensian "great expectations" from above. Short of his fear of other humans punishing him and causing him personal pain and discomfort, the atheist has no good reason not to thumb his nose at existence, itself, and do as he pleases, for better or worse. This is nihilism, of which atheism is a logical facet.

Now what if the above individual finds himself with virtually unlimited power? What if he has positioned himself in such a way that he can use the state as a tool for the implementation of any agenda his heart desires?

If humans are animals, and the only rules are those hammered out by other two-legged animals, everything is fair game. Every barrier that might hinder you from unleashing devastation upon other hapless humans is an artificial construct. There is no universal truth. Life doesn't really matter, in the lesser scheme of things. Neither does death. In fact, nothing matters, except what the atheist deems important. Is indulging in mass murder such a stretch for someone who envisions such a world?

The 20th century killing sprees are reasonable outcomes of atheism unleashed and helming the state.

As for Derbyshire, he would have you believe that non-accountability from on high, coupled with the belief that humans are just advanced animals on the evolutionary scale, plays zero role in how one treats one's fellow beings. The next time he's rounding up the names of obscure Zoroastrian demons, perhaps he should find an online dictionary and look up the word "context."

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