Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Reasonable Faith Podcast: The Real Consequences of Atheism

In a recent Reasonable Faith podcast with Dr. William Lane Craig and Kevin Harris, they discussed this post from Wintery Knight's blog.

The post featured the following comment from an atheist blogger:

[To] all my Atheist friends.
Let us stop sugar coating it. I know, it’s hard to come out and be blunt with the friendly Theists who frequent sites like this. However in your efforts to “play nice” and “be civil” you actually do them a great disservice.
We are Atheists. We believe that the Universe is a great uncaused, random accident. All life in the Universe past and future are the results of random chance acting on itself. While we acknowledge concepts like morality, politeness, civility seem to exist, we know they do not. Our highly evolved brains imagine that these things have a cause or a use, and they have in the past, they’ve allowed life to continue on this planet for a short blip of time. But make no mistake: all our dreams, loves, opinions, and desires are figments of our primordial imagination. They are fleeting electrical signals that fire across our synapses for a moment in time. They served some purpose in the past. They got us here. That’s it. All human achievement and plans for the future are the result of some ancient, evolved brain and accompanying chemical reactions that once served a survival purpose. Ex: I’ll marry and nurture children because my genes demand reproduction, I’ll create because creativity served a survival advantage to my ancient ape ancestors, I’ll build cities and laws because this allowed my ape grandfather time and peace to reproduce and protect his genes. My only directive is to obey my genes. Eat, sleep, reproduce, die. That is our bible.
We deride the Theists for having created myths and holy books. We imagine ourselves superior. But we too imagine there are reasons to obey laws, be polite, protect the weak etc. Rubbish. We are nurturing a new religion, one where we imagine that such conventions have any basis in reality. Have they allowed life to exist? Absolutely. But who cares? Outside of my greedy little gene’s need to reproduce, there is nothing in my world that stops me from killing you and reproducing with your wife. Only the fear that I might be incarcerated and thus be deprived of the opportunity to do the same with the next guy’s wife stops me. Some of my Atheist friends have fooled themselves into acting like the general population. They live in suburban homes, drive Toyota Camrys, attend school plays. But underneath they know the truth. They are a bag of DNA whose only purpose is to make more of themselves. So be nice if you want. Be involved, have polite conversations, be a model citizen. Just be aware that while technically an Atheist, you are an inferior one. You’re just a little bit less evolved, that’s all. When you are ready to join me, let me know, I’ll be reproducing with your wife.
I know it’s not PC to speak so bluntly about the ramifications of our beliefs, but in our discussions with Theists we sometimes tip toe around what we really know to be factual. Maybe it’s time we Atheists were a little more truthful and let the chips fall where they may. At least that’s what my genes are telling me to say.”

If naturalism is true, I believe the atheist is correct.  Of course, I'm glad there are good reasons to doubt that it is!

Further, I invite our atheist readers who disagree with this gentlemen to demonstrate why, on atheism, he is wrong.

Listen in here as Dr. Craig offers his assessment of the above comments.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

1 comment:

Andrew Ryan said...

The comment you extensively quote originally appeared on the Crossexamined website, in the middle of a discussion I was taking part in. We all asked the commenter to elaborate, but it was 'hit and run', and he never returned.

We immediately questioned whether 'John' was genuine, as it reads just like a strawman Christian's view of what atheists believe, right down to the capitalisation of 'Atheist', which generally comes from Christians, who do so as they see it as similar to 'Christian'.

Nevertheless, Wallace announced that it was genuine, and on his podcast read it out as being 'from an atheist'. He said he had investigated and confirmed that 'John' was indeed an atheist.

However, when the commenters on Crossexamined called him out on this, and asked how he could be sure, he backtracked and said he'd been unable to find out one way or another, so was simply giving 'John' the benefit of the doubt.

As for the comment itself, I don't know any atheist who holds those views. Perhaps they exist, but likewise I'm sure I could find you a Christian who believes there are 'natural consequences' to Christianity that you would reject outright.

Stephen Fry has produced a number of videos on humanism, addressing ideas such as morality and happiness. I'd suggest they're much close to how most atheists think.

Here's the one on morality:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tpL1K8ZqrU

Here's the one of happiness:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tvz0mmF6NW4

Both are just a few minutes long.