Thursday, June 26, 2014
The Courage to Think For Yourself, Philosophy/Religion: The Atheist Delusion. A Reply to Richard Dawkins www.dpl21.com
The Courage to Think For Yourself, philosophy/religion: The Atheist Delusion. www.dpl21.com: Richard Dawkins wrote a book under the title “The God Delusion.” The book is a sort of atheistic manifesto. From the very be...
Richard Dawkins wrote a book under the title “The God Delusion.” The book is a sort of atheistic manifesto. From the very beginning, the author attacks the God of the Bible, he uses very forceful words: God is a capricious tyrant , vicious and revengeful, blood thirsty , false figment of the human mind .For Dawkins religion is the source of all evils in human history, provoking persecutions , religious wars hatred and irrationality in human life. Religion as a prejudice should be a eradicated as soon as possible, and in his view, science will replace religious obscurantism. By science Dawkins means primarily evolution of the whole cosmos and also of all forms of life which produce also human beings. The only reality one must assume is matter in movement and nothing else everything is explained by matter in the processes of evolution. One must ask where is the source of such views. The first thing to notice is that according to Dawkins science is making believing in God completely obsolete and an obstacle to enlightened and free atheistic mode of living. This conviction ultimately is based on naturalism and materialism. Nothing immaterial or spiritual has a right to exist.
Actually it is simply false to believe that contemporary science is hostile to religion.
1. The evidence from cosmology: the big bang accepted by all physicists spells the origin of the universe , therefore the cosmos is not eternal . Time and space all begin in the big blast of the beginning . Gradually the universe developed life, consciousness, self- awareness, intellect, all characteristics of human beings.
2. The evidence from physics: the cosmos has been discovered as precisely tuned for the future appearance of life and finally humans. Even the smallest changes in the balance of cosmic forces would make appearance of life and of course man absolutely impossible . Did the world know that we are coming ?
3. The evidence from astronomy: the privileged planet. Practically innumerable conditions conspired to the production of our globe and it’s adaptation to the development of life, consciousness , knowledge , science etc.
4. The evidence from biochemistry : the complex molecular machine, a living organism.
5. The evidence from biological information, DNA , RNA , the double helix and the origin of life.
6. The evidence from consciousness: the mystery of the human mind .
7. None of those points above , although scientifically verifiable, can be explained as reasons for modern atheism. Therefore the claim that science replaces religious belief is false. That means a pure false statement without any reasonable justification. Science as such is not only not inimical to religion but really does not make any valid statement against religion, but, if it follows it’s own scientific methods it has nothing to say about the question of God’s existence. Why? Because the object of scientific inquiry is the natural universe and it’s orderly laws. Therefore an honest scientific position to the question of religion is neutral.
The position of atheism is based on false understanding of the ability and powers of the human mind which is capable of philosophic proves for God’s existence. It develops in the philosophy of being , the arguments from the First Cause, the Unmoved Mover , the Cosmic Intelligence and the creator of finite and limited beings .Creation here means giving existence to entities which by themselves have no existence . They are called into being, by the infinite power of the Omnipotent Creator.
Atheism is based on the narrowly understood theory of biological evolution necessarily distorts the understanding of the nature of man. What is really man for an atheist?
(a) an accidental conglomerate of subatomic particles with a name ?
(b) A bundle of perceptions only (David Hume?)
(c) Is man a sophisticated computer ?
(d) Is man a product of chaotic forces of nature?
None of the above can be justified and therefore atheism abolishes completely the human being as human reducing him/her to a speck of self-aware dust of matter. Man therefore is reduced to a thing and he/she is no more a person. Only humans use their minds to become scientists, philosophers, teachers etc. Only humans distinguish between heroes and villains. Only human beings distinguish those who have mental health and those who suffer mental disease or other disabilities. Only within human societies do we find schools and libraries, hospitals and churches, prisons and cemeteries etc. Most importantly the human drive to know extends towards God, towards the Absolute.
Atheism therefore does not acknowledge the real nature of man at all. A man is obviously a person and different from other forms of life because he/she has a spiritual center the self, which cannot be reduced only to changes of matter. Self- awareness , self-hood and the knowledge of it’s own self-hood characterizes man. Humans have awareness of moral good and evil and are responsible in their conscious acts of choice between the two for their moral growth or decline. Human beings are seekers for truth , and meaning of life and their destiny for eternity.
If moral values are deprived of any Divine authority then they are man made , that is, the very concept of good and evil , is replaced by words like progressive, creative, useful and such . Then people who are in some way considered undesirable , of different race , older people can be considered useless by those who are in power at the time. In such situation the dark side of human nature and the sadistic side are free to develop and become fashionable ideologies . Atheism therefore is convenient for all kind of persecutions, and even elimination of innocent people by the millions. Atheism cancels any deeper meaning of human existence and therefore leads to despair as it is visible in the writings of such existential thinkers like Jean Paul Sartre, Frederick Nietzsche, Albert Camus and many others of the same bend of mind. The non-existence of God is simply asserted by atheists, but by no means in any logical sense proven. That is why atheism is a delusion. Any questions, contact me at leszekfigurski14.@mail.com
Adler, Mortimer, The Difference of Man and Difference It Makes. (New York: Fordham University, 1993) or any edition
Gilson, Etienne, The Christian Philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas. (Indiana: University of Notre Dames Press , 1956) or any edition
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
There is spreading conviction that atheism is a kind of religion. The question is by no means trivial and worth examining whether there is any sense in calling atheism a religion. An analysis of atheism and then an analysis of religion will provide a reasonable answer to the question .
What is Atheism?
Atheism is a belief that no transcendent Divine reality of any kind exists. All that exists is mater in movement which is responsible for the whole of knowable reality. Atheists claim that existence of any kind of god or gods cannot be in any way justified by experience or knowledge and therefore is unnecessary deviation of human interest. Some atheists add that religion is not only obsolete historically but it is a positive source of evil because in the name of god persecutions inquisitions , burning people on stakes or even sacrificing children to the divinity are historical facts. Believing in God is therefore something mankind has to leave behind. The real future of humanity is guaranteed by steady progress of science , technology and the conquest of cosmos.
What is Religion?
Religion is a belief that besides the visible universe and it’s multiple forms of development there exists the real fundamental , transcendent source and creator of all finite beings and the existence of this creator explains the fundamental questions of the human mind: Why is there a universe at all? Why not nothing rather than being? Who or what is man? What should man believe, what can he/she know, what should he do with his existence and what is his final destiny. The essence of religion is it’s power to answer the questions not only of time but also of eternity. All genuine religion has definite answers to what happens after physical death. The crucial point in religion is not only that there must be some First Cause , First Mover, and a Cosmic Mind but most importantly that there exists a Personal God and a God who in some form or other revealed Himself and His intentions to humans . This is why the three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Islam and Christianity are deserving the name religion. Of course religion make sense only if God really exists otherwise it is something superfluous and obstacle to the progress of scientifically growing human family,
From the above it is obvious that atheism cannot be in any rational way called religion of any kind. Why?. Because it is a pure negation of any personal transcendent creator or redeemer . Nobody within his/her senses would pray to or worship subatomic particles , the force of gravity or the expanding universe.
However human beings fabricate their own idols that is pseudo gods like progress, patriotism, the reign of , superior race etc. For those idols millions upon millions of people die throughout history . There were self proclaimed gods, the Roman Caesars, The Japanese Emperor , father Stalin, the great leader Hitler who promised thousand years of German domination of the world. Such ideologies perhaps could be in a very broad sense called religious , since they demand again and again a holocaust of millions of human lives. Religion contains a living relationship between God and humans and in this relationship the position of humans is creature-hood . Since all humans are creatures they expect some sort of salvation from the prison of time , space suffering and death. For example Christianity offers to the believer salvation into eternal life offered freely by God who became human and through His salvific actions opened the perspective and promise of eternal life which is the complete fulfilment of human desires of happiness.
Atheism is the product of a theory of knowledge which limits the capacity of the human mind only to the visible measurable and somehow discoverable by senses . This limitation of human knowing must necessarily lead to some form of skepticism and materialism. Therefore atheism by no means can be called religion.
Atheism does not answer any of the fundamental questions mentioned above. The claim that science makes God obsolete has no scientific or philosophical justification. The crucial question here is whether God exists or not because one part of the question can be true . If God exists then any denial of His existence is fatal to the meaning of human life and also to the very nature of human beings. Atheism therefore has an obligation to justify it’s position not only from scientific view point but also from the point of men’s existential situation. If all human values and all reality is necessarily vanishing into the past without any hope for eternity then of course Sartre is right life and human existence is meaningless and absurd. To come however to such conclusion one has to disregard the nature of the human mind and it’s arguments on the philosophical and revelational level for God’s existence.