TIA Tuesday: A maze of twisty passages, all alike

Vox Day has a very important question to ask us all.

Why should a belief in the non-existence of God cause one individual to kill another, much less make it possible to predict that it will cause political leaders to liquidate large numbers of their own citizenry? How was it that Bertrand Russell was able to foresee the inevitable bloodshed to come in 1920, two years before Stalin became General Secretary and four years before he consolidated his power by banishing Trotsky? And even more importantly, why did the atheist Russell believe that the civilized world not only would, but should, risk a descent into barbarism by following the awful Soviet example?

Gosh, it seems like it was just a few pages ago that Vox was assuring us that government was the source of all that is evil in the world, and now here he is blaming blaming atheism again. And not just a lack of belief in God (or Santa), but a positive, declaratory assurance that God does not exist, is what Vox appeals to as being an active motivation for mass murderous behavior. Given the number of gods which even Christians believe do not exist, the potential for mass destruction must be truly terrifying!

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XFiles Friday: From Luke to John

(Book: I Don’t Have Enough FAITH to Be an ATHEIST, by Geisler and Turek, chapter 10.)

Imagine, for a moment, that Jesus has been accused of rape, or child molesting, or some other nasty crime. You, as judge, need to decide whether or not Jesus is guilty of the charge, and you ask to see the evidence. The evidence, however, consists of a book written by a man who was not present when the crime occurred, in which the crime is described. You are asked to convict Jesus on the grounds that the man who wrote the book named a couple dozen well-known political and religious leaders, a comparable number of important cities and trade routes, and a few observations about the weather. Since he has spelled all the names right, you are asked to conclude that the man is a meticulous historian who must have been, or had access to, actual eyewitnesses.

Is this enough evidence to convict Jesus of the crime?

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TIA Tuesday: The Santa Clause II

According to Vox Day, you can believe that the whole world lies in the power of the Evil One, and that eternal life awaits you after the death of your mortal body, and that God will reward you for “smiting the infidel,” and that God is personally speaking to you in your heart and leading you to open warfare against the forces of evil, apostasy, and heresy, and none of your beliefs are in any way responsible for your subsequent warlike behavior. If you lack those beliefs, however, then as far as Vox is concerned, your absence of faith bears full responsibility for anything done by anyone who also lacks faith.

Each member of the Unholy Trinity demonstrates some level of concern with finding a way to assert that atheism is in no way to blame for the murderous atrocities of Communism, deservedly infamous for committing the worst mass murders in Man’s history. Dawkins and Hitchens are both fully aware of how badly the lethal record of atheists holding absolute power undermines their case against religion and they are eager to find some way of explaining this record in a manner which allows them to separate the actions of the responsible individuals from their denial of the existence of God.

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XFiles Friday: The apologetics of chutzpah

(Book: I Don’t Have Enough FAITH to Be an ATHEIST, by Geisler and Turek, chapter 10.)

The first time I heard the term chutzpah, it was defined in terms of a man who has just murdered his parents, asking the judge to be lenient on the grounds that he’s just lost his mom and dad. It’s a kind of breathtaking outrageousness that substitutes brash boldness for common sense, and it’s a term that seems almost tailor-made for certain apologetic arguments.

You see, some apologetic arguments are just plain poor. They overlook obvious facts, they beg the listener to jump to credulous and superstitious conclusions, or they just don’t make any sense. Yet despite what might seem like fatal problems, they manage to be quite popular and enduring. They are effective because they have that special chutzpah that makes you want to believe that the apologist must have some kind of valid point to make, because nobody could possibly expect an argument like that to stand on its own.

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