As is my habit, I look at various posts on WordPress with the words “atheist” and “atheism” to see what the chatter out there is like. Most post are by Christians who are very afraid of us atheists. To the point they choose to lie to support their fear. They try so hard to make believe that all atheists are nihilists to drive people into their imaginary god’s arms.
Fair warning, this post is long since the truth takes more time and space than lies.
In this episode, we have Christians, Presbyterians like I used to be, intentionally misrepresenting quotes from atheists. Let’s compare what they have with the real quote in context and with what Christianity says about humans.
“What do atheists think about the universe and our little race of advanced primates?
Hear them speak: “The human race is not special.”– Geoff Dawson, opinion piece, ABC news (Australia)”
This comes from this article here. Now, what we can read from the actual article is:
“We’re not special
As human beings, we need to remind ourselves that we are oxygen-breathing biped mammals.
In other words, we are animals. Evolutionary science demonstrates that we are continuous, not discontinuous, with other animal species
If one’s view of the world is based on science, we are not special, we were not placed here by a God to be the custodians of the Earth (and if we were, we have let the Almighty down big time!) and like all other species, we will have our place in the sun. The myth that we are somehow special and will continue to live forever as a dominant species is based on a deluded human-centric form of existential narcissism.”
It goes on to say how great it is that we are indeed humans, even if we aren’t “special”.
“When we embrace the end, our lives are more vibrant
This means the adults learning to calm themselves in the face of their own inevitable mortality. The practice of mindfulness and the contemplation of one’s own death is one beneficial way to do this.
When we embrace the end, our lives are more vibrant
This means the adults learning to calm themselves in the face of their own inevitable mortality. The practice of mindfulness and the contemplation of one’s own death is one beneficial way to do this.”
Now, let’s look at what the bible says about humans.
“We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a menstrual rags.
We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.” – Isaiah 64.
This is the same nonsense we see in the NT where we’re told that humans are dogs unless they worship the Christian god. The bible ends where this god murders all non-christians and then works with Satan to corrupt the Christians that are left (Revelation 19-21) That’s quite a god that the Christians have, not caring about humans at all unless they constantly praise it.
“The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.”
– Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden”
Unsurprisingly, this is taken out of context. This is what comes before:
“Theologians worry away at the “problem of evil” and a related “problem of suffering”. On the say I originally wrote this paragraph, the British newspaper all carried a terrible story about a bus full of children from a Roman Catholics school that crashed for no obvious reasons, with wholesale loss of life. Not for the first time, clerics were in paroxysm over the theological question that a writer on a London newspaper (The Sunday Telegraph) framed this way “How can you believe in a loving all-powerful God who allows such a tragedy?” The article went on to quote one priest’s reply “The simple answer is we do not know why there should be a God who lets these awful things happen. But the horror of the crash, to a Christian, confirms the fact that we live in a world of real values: positive and negative. If the universe was just electrons, there would be no problem of evil or suffering.
On the contrary, if the universe were just electrons and selfish genes, meaningless tragedies like the crashing of this bus are exactly what we should expect, along with equally meaningless good fortune. Such a universe would be neither evil or good in intention. It would manifest no intentions of any kind. In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, anhyou don’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference. As that unhappy poet A.E. Housman put it: “For Nature, heartless, witless Nature, will neither know or care.” DNA neither knows or cares. DNA just is. And we dance to its music.”
This is what Dawkins does believe in
“My own view, frequently expressed (for example in the The Selfish Gene and especially in the title chapter of A Devil’s Chaplain) is that there are two reasons why we need to take Darwinian natural selection seriously. Firstly, it is the most important element in the explanation for our own existence and that of all life. Secondly, natural selection is a good object lesson in how NOT to organize a society. As I have often said before, as a scientist I am a passionate Darwinian. But as a citizen and a human being, I want to construct a society which is about as un-Darwinian as we can make it. I approve of looking after the poor (very un-Darwinian). I approve of universal medical care (very un-Darwinian). It is one of the classic philosophical fallacies to derive an ‘ought’ from an ‘is’. Stein (or whoever wrote his script for him) is implying that Hitler committed that fallacy with respect to Darwinism. If we look at more recent history, the closest representatives you’ll find to Darwinian politics are uncompassionate conservatives like Margaret Thatcher, George W Bush, or Ben Stein’s own hero, Richard Nixon. Maybe all these people, along with the Social Darwinists from Herbert Spencer to John D Rockefeller, committed the is/ought fallacy and justified their unpleasant social views by invoking garbled Darwinism. Anyone who thinks that has any bearing whatsoever on the truth or falsity of Darwin’s theory of evolution is either an unreasoning fool or a cynical manipulator of unreasoning fools. I will not speculate as to which category includes Ben Stein and Mark Mathis.” – Dawkins website forum, 2008
Here we go again from the presbyterian church website:
“Life on Earth doesn’t arise in fulfillment of a grand scheme, but rather as a byproduct of the increase of entropy in an environment very far from equilibrium. Our impressive brains don’t develop because life is guided toward greater levels of complexity and intelligence, but from the mechanical interactions between genes, organisms, and their surroundings.
None of which is to say that life is devoid of purpose and meaning. Only that these are things we create, not things we discover out there in the fundamental architecture of the world.”
– Sean Carroll, from a blog post The Pointless Universe
My bold. Again, the scary atheists are acknowledging that our lives have purpose and meaning. And we are daring to say to theists that they and their god aren’t needed for this at all.
“That Man is the product of causes that had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve individual life beyond the grave. . . . Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built.”
– Bertrand Russell, A Free Man’s Worship (1903)
Again, beware when a Christian uses ellipses and doesn’t present in context.
“To Dr. Faustus in his study Mephistopheles told the history of the Creation, saying: “The endless praises of the choirs of angels had begun to grow wearisome; for, after all, did he not deserve their praise? Had he not given them endless joy? Would it not be more amusing to obtain undeserved praise, to be worshipped by beings whom he tortured?
He smiled inwardly, and resolved that the great drama should be performed. “For countless ages the hot nebula whirled aimlessly through space. At length it began to take shape, the central mass threw off planets, the planets cooled, boiling seas and burning mountains heaved and tossed, from black masses of cloud hot sheets of rain deluged the barely solid crust. And now the first germ of life grew in the depths of the ocean, and developed rapidly in the fructifying warmth into vast forest trees, huge ferns springing from the damp mould, sea monsters breeding, fighting, devouring, and passing away. nd from the monsters, as the play unfolded itself, Man was born, with the power of thought, the knowledge of good and evil, and the cruel thirst for worship.
And Man saw that all is passing in this mad, monstrous world, that all is struggling to snatch, at any cost, a few brief moments of life before Death’s inexorable decree. And Man said: `There is a hidden purpose, could we but fathom it, and the purpose is good; for we must reverence something, and in the visible world there is nothing worthy of reverence.’ And Man stood aside from the struggle, resolving that God intended harmony to come out of chagos by human efforts. And when he followed the instincts which God had transmitted to him from his ancestry of beasts of prey, he called it Sin, and asked od to forgive him. But he doubted whether he could be justly forgiven, until he invented a divine Plan by which God’s wrath was to have been appeased. And seeing the present was bad, he made it yet worse, that thereby the future might be better. And he gave God thanks for the strength that enabled him to forgo even the joys that were possible. And God smiled; and when he saw that Man had become perfect in renunciation and worship, he sent another sun through the sky, which crashed into Man’s sun; and all returned again to nebula.
“`Yes,’ he murmured, `it was a good play; I will have it performed again.'”
Such, in outline, but even more purposeless, more void of meaning, is the world which Science presents for our belief. Amid such a world, if anywhere, our ideals henceforward must find a home. That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins–all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built.
How, in such an alien and inhuman world, can so powerless a creature as Man preserve his aspirations untarnished? A strange mystery it is that Nature, omnipotent but blind, in the revolutions of her secular hurryings through the abysses of space, has brought forth at last a child, subject still to her power, but gifted with sight, with knowledge of good and evil, with the capacity of judging all the works of his unthinking Mother. In spite of Death, the mark and seal of the parental control, Man is yet free, during his brief years, to examine, to criticise, to know, and in imagination to create. To him alone, in the world with which he is acquainted, this freedom belongs; and in this lies his superiority to the resistless forces that control his outward life. The savage, like ourselves, feels the oppression of his impotence before the powers of Nature; but having in himself nothing that he respects more than Power, he is willing to prostrate himself before his gods, without inquiring whether they are worthy of his worship. Pathetic and very terrible is the long history of cruelty and torture, of degradation and human sacrifice, endured in the hope of placating the jealous gods: surely, the trembling believer thinks, when what is most precious has been freely given, their lust for blood must be appeased, and more will not be required. The religion of Moloch–as such creeds may be generically called–is in essence the cringing submission of the slave, who dare not, even in his heart, allow the thought that his master deserves no adulation. Since the independence of ideals is not yet acknowledged, Power may be freely worshipped, and receive an unlimited respect, despite its wanton infliction of pain.
But gradually, as morality grows bolder, the claim of the ideal world begins to be felt; and worship, if it is not to cease, must be given to gods of another kind than those created by the savage. Some, though they feel the demands of the ideal, will still consciously reject them, still urging that naked Power is worthy of worship. Such is the attitude inculcated in God’s answer to Job out of the whirlwind: the divine power and knowledge are paraded, but of the divine goodness there is no hint. Such also is the attitude of those who, in our own day, base their morality upon the struggle for survival, maintaining that the survivors are necessarily the fittest. But others, not content with an answer so repugnant to the moral sense, will adopt the position which we have become accustomed to regard as specially religious, maintaining that, in some hidden manner, the world of fact is really harmonious with the world of ideals. Thus Man creates God, all-powerful and all-good, the mystic unity of what is and what should be.
But the world of fact, after all, is not good; and, in submitting our judgment to it, there is an element of slavishness from which our thoughts must be purged. For in all things it is well to exalt the dignity of Man, by freeing him as far as possible from the tyranny of non-human Power. When we have realised that Power is largely bad, that man, with his knowledge of good and evil, is but a helpless atom in a world which has no such knowledge, the choice is again presented to us: Shall we worship Force, or shall we worship Goodness? Shall our God exist and be evil, or shall he be recognised as the creation of our own conscience?
Read the rest of the essay it’s worth it (link to all of it is at the end of the quote below). The essay ends with this
“United with his fellow-men by the strongest of all ties, the tie of a common doom, the free man finds that a new vision is with him always, shedding over every daily task the light of love. The life of Man is a long march through the night, surrounded by invisible foes, tortured by weariness and pain, towards a goal that few can hope to reach, and where none may tarry long. One by one, as they march, our comrades vanish from our sight, seized by the silent orders of omnipotent Death. Very brief is the time in which we can help them, in which their happiness or misery is decided. Be it ours to shed sunshine on their path, to lighten their sorrows by the balm of sympathy, to give them the pure joy of a never-tiring affection, to strengthen failing courage, to instill faith in hours of despair. Let us not weigh in grudging scales their merits and demerits, but let us think only of their need–of the sorrows, the difficulties, perhaps the blindnesses, that make the misery of their lives; let us remember that they are fellow-sufferers in the same darkness, actors in the same tragedy as ourselves. And so, when their day is over, when their good and their evil have become eternal by the immortality of the past, be it ours to feel that, where they suffered, where they failed, no deed of ours was the cause; but wherever a spark of the divine fire kindled in their hearts, we were ready with encouragement, with sympathy, with brave words in which high courage glowed.
Brief and powerless is Man’s life; on him and all his race the slow, sure doom falls pitiless and dark. Blind to good and evil, reckless of destruction, omnipotent matter rolls on its relentless way; for Man, condemned to-day to lose his dearest, to-morrow himself to pass through the gate of darkness, it remains only to cherish, ere yet the blow falls, the lofty thoughts that ennoble his little day; disdaining the coward terrors of the slave of Fate, to worship at the shrine that his own hands have built; undismayed by the empire of chance, to preserve a mind free from the wanton tyranny that rules his outward life; proudly defiant of the irresistible forces that tolerate, for a moment, his knowledge and his condemnation, to sustain alone, a weary but unyielding Atlas, the world that his own ideals have fashioned despite the trampling march of unconscious power.” – A Free man’s Worship
The Christians have been found wanting again with their false claims.
“The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless.”
– Steven Weinberg (Physicist)
What we Dr. Weinberg says in context:
“I believe that there is no point in the universe that can be discovered by the methods of science. I believe that what we have found so far, an impersonal universe in which it is not particularly directed toward human beings is what we are going to continue to find. And that when we find the ultimate laws of nature they will have a chilling, cold impersonal quality about them.
I don’t think this means [however] there’s no point to life. Usually the remark is quoted just as it stands. But if anyone read the next paragraph, they would see that I went on to say that if there is no point in the universe that we discover by the methods of science, there is a point that we can give the universe by the way we live, by loving each other, by discovering things about nature, by creating works of art. And that — in a way, although we are not the stars in a cosmic drama, if the only drama we’re starring in is one that we are making up as we go along, it is not entirely ignoble that faced with this unloving, impersonal universe we make a little island of warmth and love and science and art for ourselves. That’s not an entirely despicable role for us to play.” – PBS “Faith and Reason”
“When it comes to causal significance, it seems hard to deny that any individual, no matter how important they are in human history, will be insignificant in the grand scheme of things. We only have influence over a microscopically tiny blip of space-time, after all.”
– Nick Hughes
What the whole quote is (the above is not the quote which could have been so easily cut and pasted correctly) What was intentionally left out is in bold.
“Is an individual’s life insignificant in the great scheme of things?
Nick Hughes: “When it comes to causal significance, it seems hard to deny that any individual, no matter how important they are in human history, will be insignificant in the grand scheme of things. We only have influence over a microscopically tiny blip of space-time, after all. But when it comes to value, humanity may be significant even in the grand scheme of things. – Nick Hughes Irish Times.
“There you have it, folks.If God does not exist, and if there are no supernatural realities, don’t worry: nothing ultimately matters. You are here for no particular reason. For no particular purpose. You have no objective value. Your life has no particular end goal in mind. You’re a blip, so create some meaning for yourself until it’s all over.As the good book says “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” (1 Corinthians 15:32; NIV)
Nothing ultimately means anything. Why?
Yep, there you have it, folks. Christians make false claims for their benefit. They lie. Nice to see that they ignore their bible when convenient. Our Christians want to quote this “If with merely human hopes I fought with wild animals at Ephesus, what would I have gained by it? If the dead are not raised,“Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”
For they think they have no reason to exist without their god. That’s a shame.