Sunday, April 8, 2018

Hate Mail - I Don't Believe That Atheism Is Innocuous Anymore

Simps is a. lying about trying to post a comment here to that effect,  b. is lying that I don't support the rights of women to make their own choice about having legal abortion.   As many Catholics I know have concluded, making abortion illegal doesn't stop abortions, it only makes them dangerous and deadly.  The only effective means of preventing abortion is to provide people with scientifically based information about how to avoid unwanted pregnancy, to encourage them to use medically effective contraception and to make sure it is as readily available to people as possible.

I could have just repeated the obvious point that Simps pretty much lies about everything.  Simps like the residuum remnant of the Eschaton commenting community swims in a post-truth milieu.   Some of them are familiar enough with what I've written to know that he lies about what I've said but they apparently don't care enough to correct his misrepresentations.   That has certainly contributed to my conclusion that when you don't believe in sin you don't believe it's a sin to tell a lie.  As Chris Hedges put it in his book "I Don't Believe In Atheists"

We have nothing to fear from those who do or do not believe in God;  we have much to fear from those who do not believe in sin.  The concept of sin is a stark acknowledgement that we can never be omnipotent, that we are bound and limited by human flaws and self-interest.  The concept of sin is a check on the utopian dreams of a perfect world.  It prevents us from believing in our own perfectibility or the illusion that the material advances of science and technology equal an intrinsic moral improvement in our species.  To turn away from God is harmless.  Saints have been trying to do it for centuries.  To turn away from sin is catastrophic. 

Only I have come to conclude, from observing atheists, online, in the media, in books and in history  in the years since Hedges wrote that book, that atheism leads, inevitably, to large numbers of them not believing in sin and the consequences of that are not nearly as lofty and abstract as Hedges concluded then.   I think that accounts for everything up to and including the murders of scores of millions of people under "scientific" regimes during the past century.   The extent to which atheism doesn't lead to amorality is the extent to which atheists retain a belief in morality that is inconsistent with materialist, scientistic atheism.  The extent to which they still worship "the shadow of the Buddha" as Nietzsche put it.   I wouldn't count on that happening longer than a couple or three generations.  Not in large enough numbers to prevent total depravity.  

Update:  Literacy among the online manifestation of atheism is greatly overestimated.   

Update 2:  Simps has been telling that lie for six years, it's as much a lie now as it was in 2012. Duncan Black has let him post it the entire time.   He doesn't much care if something is true as long as he gets ad revenue and other income from it.   It's not as if he writes much content for his blog. 


  1. Hedges is too cute by half, actually (IMHO). Saints have been trying to turn away from God for centuries? Huh? I mean, i get the reference, in that saints don't turn to God pietistically (i.e., simplistically), and understand God as Other, whose ways are nt our ways, whose thoughts are not our thoughts, but who still is in relationship to the Creation, and not merely as Creator. But turning away from God goes too far in the other direction. Hedges, as ever, wants to eat his cake and have it, too; he reduces the struggle with God to one he wants to win, rather than continue. I'd say the consequences of not believing in sin are rather simple: selfishness. Christianity doesn't really rely on sin as the stick and salvation as the carrot. it pushes towards selflessness, toward living in God's wisdom by being last of all and servant of all (the power of powerlessness). As a book by a Jesuit I still have put it, sin is not breaking the laws of the town, sin is being on the journey with those in the wagon train, and wanting to turn back.

    It's turning back that's catastrophic, because you turn away from others. The perfect world is not the basiliea tou theou; that's simply better than what we have now, because we live for each other, not for ourselves alone.

    Of course, even that is too simple; but the root of sin is selfishness. Turning away from that is complex, hard, anything but simple as a matter of direction or attention.

    1. Chris Hedges is a very problematic writer, I find myself agreeing with about 30 to 40% of what he says about most topics. Sometimes I think he got burned out from his war reporting, sometimes I find something admirable in what he say.

      I did like that particular book, though I certainly didn't agree with lots of it. I haven't read much of what he wrote other than articles, many of which I haven't agreed with at all.

    2. You said what I would say about Hedges.