Saturday, July 18, 2015

No One Has To Put Up With Your Double Standard Any More. A Response To Atheists Here And Elsewhere

No, no, no, NO.  Atheists don't get to claim immunity when it comes to their advocacy for killing and oppression or to wriggle out of being held to their own practices of criticism of others.  The history of atheists with control of governments being a uniform record of dictatorial oppression, terror, and murder is a hard fact of history.  It is a harder fact than almost any fact produced by science.   There are few 100% records of that sort in history.  That it is true in every single case when atheists had control of a government, of the police apparatus, of the military is entirely meaningful, as close to an open and shut case as is possible of what results could be expected from universal atheist rule as history is capable of providing.   Even if you're an anarchist who condemns the record of all governments on that count, to ignore that record when it is held by atheists, to give their religious ideology a pass only turns you into a hypocrite who has discredited himself.   Or herself, as in the case of such as Emma Goldman, though she did have the excuse of  not having seen most of the record of atheist regimes in the later 20th century.   An atheist in 2015 doesn't have that excuse, not even one who tries to side step it by declaring himself an anarchist.

If Christians who have opposed killing, oppression, inequality, and dictatorship are to be lumped, by atheists, in with those who don't oppose them and who practice those things - often in face of the opposition of Christians who take what Jesus said seriously - then atheists get the same treatment they advocate.

In the face of the popular and academic practice that has taken hold under the coercion of atheists to declare that kind of vicarious responsibility for Jews, Christians, Muslims, etc. for acts they oppose, it would be irresponsible to allow those very same atheists to operate under a far more lenient standard when atheists are the ones being criticized.   Atheists who insist on that as a definitive discrediting of religion don't get to declare atheism, by virtue of amorality, is exempt from that same debunking.  The stand that holding as an intellectual position the very same basis of the crimes and oppression provides an exemption from condemnation of those crimes is entirely illogical.  Its adoption as a permitted, even encouraged standard of thought is one of the most absurd practices of intellectuals in history and one of the most dishonest.

The whine at this point will be to point out that atheists are widely disliked and distrusted.   Practicing such blatant dishonesty as above certainly does nothing to foster trust.

That such atheists are widely hated doesn't give them a right to be held to a lesser standard than the one they advocate, it is quite possible that some of that hatred has been earned by that history of atheism with power, by their insisting on lying about the moral responsibility of religious people who are not responsible AND WHO HAVE OPPOSED MURDER AND OPPRESSION and other such widespread associated practices of atheism as a public phenomenon.   The association of atheism with the most accomplished murderers, enslavers, and oppressors of the past century is certainly as much a reason for people to not think well of atheism, especially when atheism, unlike religion, has nothing in it that identifies the acts of those people as wrong and to never be done.

I look at the list of otherwise admirable atheists,  some of whom I actually like and respect*,  who have either supported those dictators, such as Lenin, Stalin, Mao and even made excuses for such as Pol Pot, and conclude that atheism produces an enormous moral blind spot as a result of its amorality. One far larger than that typical of religion as an historical and human phenomenon.   When the best of a group has that kind of record it doesn't speak well for the intellectual framing that they think with.   I think a comparison with the record of the comparable group of religious people indicates that believing in the moral positions of the despised monotheistic religions prevents that kind of moral hypocrisy.   In allowing atheists to define atheism as amoral, the current fashionable response to noting the enormous crimes of atheists with power, they, themselves, mark atheism as a deficient ideology.   Their concurrent practice of moral criticism of religion, of even religious people who mark the very acts they use in that criticism of religion, can't come from their deficient ideology of atheism, it, ironically, honors the very religion that they so much hate and condemn.   Those moral positions came from religion, in their most exigent forms from the very same monotheistic religions that they seek to end.    It is entirely legitimate and a religious responsibility to hold religious people who violate those commandments culpable for their crimes, it is no less legitimate and an intellectual responsibility, as well as a moral one, to hold atheists accountable for theirs.  By swiping those moral standards to use in their campaign of hate and destruction, atheists have made themselves liable to that same charge of hypocrisy, one that their claim of convenience of the amorality of atheism doesn't wipe clean.

Atheists have handed that argument against atheism to their opponents, they have no basis to start whining about their opponents using it.  Not for anyone with the intellectual ability to make an objective analysis of the situation and no reason to pretend that they haven't unwittingly done that.

*  Though who I respect a lot less for that.   If we are to despise and reject, for example, evangelical Christians for their thinking on LGBT issues, certainly intellectuals and others who, though otherwise admirable, have expressed support for Stalin, Mao, etc. who white wash the ocean of blood of the French Revolution hiding that from the ignorant and naive, are at least as worthy of being despised and rejected.   I have to confess, since thinking about these issues more strenuously in studying the political failure of the post-King left, of researching the issues raised by the neo-atheists in the past dozen years, I am not inclined to continue to overlook such things as support for Stalin, Mao, etc.  Not unless the person who did that publicly recants their support and who doesn't adopt as bad an allegiance in response, as the ex-Trotskyite neo-cons and Christopher Hitchens did.

I have had the experience of being violently attacked and threatened with violence because I'm gay a number of times.  In no case was it an evangelical Christian who did so, in every single case I can recall the profanity and violation of the commandment against taking the Lord's name in vain were part of the attack.  No one could take the teachings of Jesus seriously and commit violence against another person, certainly not on the basis of their sexual identity anymore than their race, ethnicity or gender.   The role that such evangelical and other Christians have played in maintaining laws against sex, of preventing laws protecting us from discrimination and depriving us from full rights to marry is worthy of noting and opposing, but there are other Christians who have been at the forefront of the struggle for equality for LGBT people, generally those who are far more likely to take the teachings of Jesus seriously in other matters, as well.  There are degrees of success in following the teachings of Jesus, those who are most successful produce an entirely different effect in society and in politics and the law than those who reject or fail to put those teachings into practice.  Acknowledging that difference is, certainly, a matter of honesty and justice,  honoring and supporting the effect on other people and the world and role of those who are most successful in living by them politically is also a matter of political necessity.  Anything that encourages those peoples' example to be followed is an absolute necessity for making any kind of progress towards a better life, of, in fact, continuing life as well.  The same can be said of those of other religions who practice the same morals.  They are the ones who are more likely to produce enduring political progress.


  1. True intellectuals (and mature adults; we really have infantilized ourselves within our culture, but that's another diatribe) recognize both the strengths and weaknesses of their positions. From the most obnoxious on-line atheist right up to Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris, the New Atheists are oblivious of anything except that they are "right" and anyone who doesn't think so is "wrong."

    And really, carrying on with them is just a mug's game. Nietzsche and Sartre understood the moral implications of their atheism. These children don't even understand Nietzsche and Sartre. All they understand are temper tantrums.

    I'm surprised their god isn't Donald Trump.

  2. I figure with all of the time I spent reading them and other background and their continued impact in politics and, well, what passes as culture these days, that I should keep on with refuting them. Their ability to dominate comment threads and to push the policy of online magazines that will produce click bait to please them can have a political impact, as well their usefulness to the right as a foil, foil they can wrap the "left" in and which naive leftists are quite willing to wrap themselves, to continued political damage.

    I'm convinced that vulgar materialism is always related to ideological materialism, the same habits of thought arise from valuing things over people and other living beings. All materialism is vulgar materialism no matter how prim and proper, another thing I learned from reviewing Russell.