Framed!

A while back there was a bit of a brouhaha over how best to present science and/or atheism to the world. Atheists like Dawkins and Hitchens were said to be too “harsh” and “shrill” in their bold and confident assertions that religion was wrong. Advocates for atheism and/or science, it was said, needed to “frame” their arguments, to make them more appealing and less offensive for the average, religiously-minded layperson.

Well, some atheists took that advice to heart, and Dinesh D’Souza would like to give them the “thanks” they deserve.

The central argument of these scientific atheists is that modern science has refuted traditional religious conceptions of a divine creator.

But of late atheism seems to be losing its scientific confidence. One sign of this is the public advertisements that are appearing in billboards from London to Washington DC. Dawkins helped pay for a London campaign to put signs on city buses saying, “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” Humanist groups in America have launched a similar campaign in the nation’s capital. “Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness sake.” And in Colorado atheists are sporting billboards apparently inspired by John Lennon: “Imagine…no religion…”

There is no claim here that God fails to satisfy some criterion of scientific validation. We hear nothing about how evolution has undermined the traditional “argument from design.” There’s not even a whisper about how science is based on reason while Christianity is based on faith…

[A]theists seem to have given up the scientific card.

Congratulations, framers. You’ve made Christians much happier, now that they can claim you’ve conceded defeat in the scientific realm.

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Posted in Science, Society, Unapologetics, Woodworking 101. 24 Comments »

TIA Tuesday: Not the Golden Rule

One thing I’ve been noticing in Chapter 14 of TIA is that the longer Vox rambles on with his “Occam’s Chainsaw” arguments against atheism, the less and less his atheistic arguments resemble anything atheists actually say. Case in point, the so-called Argument from the Golden Rule.

It is often asserted that Christian morality is no different than other ethical systems that are based on the Golden Rule. And it is true that one can find pre-Christian examples of the same concept in the Analects of Confucius, in the Mahabharata, the Dhammapada, the Udanavarga, and even the histories of Herodotus. Still, there are two errors in this argument because Christian morality is not based on the Golden Rule, and because the Golden Rule, which states that a man should not do to others what he would not have them do to him, cannot provide a basis for a functional moral system.

Vox is partly right: Jesus didn’t base his religion on the Golden Rule, and more’s the pity because it would have produced a better moral system if he had. But the standard atheistic argument is more an observation that the best parts of Christianity, the parts worth keeping, are not original with Jesus, but were absorbed into Judaism and Christianity from the moral systems of the surrounding cultures. Vox, once again, is merely fencing with a straw man.

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Posted in Atheistic Morality, TIA, Unapologetics. 7 Comments »

3 excuses for homophobia

The Associated Press is reporting that Christians, and especially Christians in ethnic minority groups, are rushing to excuse their behavior with regards to the anti-gay Proposition 8 and similar measures.

“I do not consider (gays) to be a minority in legal and adjudicated terms, the same way people who only like to eat broccoli with butter aren’t a minority,” said the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. “We can’t categorize things according to behavior. It’s based on ethnicity, on who we are rather than what we do.”

Hmm, let’s try that again, shall we?

“I do not consider (Christians) to be a minority in legal and adjudicated terms, the same way people who only like to eat broccoli with butter aren’t a minority,” said the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. “We can’t categorize things according to behavior. It’s based on ethnicity, on who we are rather than what we do.”

Time for an amendment defining marriage as a union of two non-Christians?

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Posted in Society. 5 Comments »