The New Age of Reason?
In 1883 Nietzsche announced that “God is dead.” The witnesses of the following 62 years saw the world as if He had surely never existed at all.
Compressed within six decades of human progress was the most horrible destruction of human life ever visited upon the suffering human race. It eclipsed the barbarity of any previous time before it. Genocide was invented as a word. And it was invented because of the frequency with which it was employed.
The Secular Turkish government, having rid itself of even Islam’s restrictions on barbarity, thought nothing wrong with killing 1.2 million Armenians. The first World War arising as a collective nationalistic catharsis out from under the universalist message of Christianity — which held that if human beings were created equal and in the image of G-d, so to nations, and thus national character is subservient to G-d — was so horrible that people prayed it would “end all wars.” World War 2 was a natural continuation of this as the defeated parties vied for revenge. This time, though, Darwinian thought had made its way to the national press and was thoroughly engorged and disseminated by the Nazi henchmen. Having noticed that the traditional Christian line of antisemitism was insufficient to his cause, too weak, and very much committed to Jewish conversion rather than Jewish destruction, Hitler found he needed to dispense with it and create the vicious coldness that his plans required. This involved a measure of Darwinian nihilism wedded to an historical materialist dialectic championing the struggle between nations. The two concepts fit perfectly, as historian William Tucker put it:
The Holocaust has commonly been conceived of as a revolt against reason, the ultimate example of the “irrational,” designed and executed by the pathologically insane. But if reason was the object of the revolt, it was also the chief ally, a dialectic so monstrously rational that it could override all the traditional bounds of morality.
The Holocaust was not so much the overthrow of reason as its triumph over morality. It allowed a scientific ultrarationality—what Hitler called “ice cold logic”—to provide murder with rational justification.
The readiness with which the atheist minions, who populate the expansive, vapid and vacuous internet forums, ignore this historical reality is bizarre if only because atheists have a tendency to declare that they are the progenitors of truth and substance. But if the minions are so ignorant, it is only a function of the fact that their leaders are more so. The philosopher David Berlinski showed that while the late Christopher Hitchens was fond of attacking the Catholic Church’s meager complicity in the Nazi regime’s plans, no amount of opprobrium is ever directed at the intellectual artifacts of Nazism itself. The intellectual featherweight Sam Harris was content to admit that the horrors of the 20th century were not religiously inspired, but they certainly weren’t rational, and thus certainly not scientifically inspired, despite all the evidence to the contrary. The only sure thing I can grasp from reading the new atheists, their rewiring of history, is that a positively scientific and idiotic degree of evasiveness is in play, rather than any desire for truth.
I remember a time when this wasn’t even an argument. That the Catholic Church and religion in general had produced horror was not something that was ignored by the faithful. One need only look to the texts of the prophets, or the writings of the reformers, to notice that the internal and logical consistency of the faith traditions themselves prohibited such activity in most instances. To look upon the history of religious faith is to look upon the history of man coming to grips with his own depravity and seeking to reduce its effects. This nuance is lost on the atheist though, as most of them are more interested in various anthropological mythologies than philosophic inquiry.
One atheist I debated, while able to lionize the Greeks of antiquity as sages, chastised me for engaging in “philosophic decadence” upon my raising the challenges historical and scientific discoveries have generated for atheistic dogma. He found refuge in the now defunct logical positivism, “I want proof of G-d,” he demanded. Upon me raising the point that proof was for the realm of mathematics, and only mathematics, and that philosophic argumentation is more congenial to our current discussion, a rabid stutter came over him. Atheists often stutter, and when not stuttering, they stammer.
The very fact that many a scientific mind has found G-d among the stars or amongst the swamps, or felt His presence within the complexity of the single celled organism, or have found His handiwork revealed in the precision of the physical constants, has engendered fear in the heart of atheist polemicists.
That science hasn’t disproved G-d, and in many instances has led men to Him, has forced the debate to take on a moral formulation. Atheists like Richard Dawkins find themselves talking less about science and more about religious abuses. But, one is bound to interject, on what moral foundation do they firmly stand to express their disgust? They certainly cannot point to the Reign of Terror that ensued after the erection of Temples to Reason in enlightenment France as a model of civil and secular society.
In his tract “The End of Faith: And The New Age of Reason”, besides a rather labored and pathetic attempt to announce his own eroticism with neuroscience as the discipline equipped with the power to determine proper ethical behavior, Sam Harris has very little, if anything, to say about science at all. One wonders if the incoherence and sophistry that follows from his chapter on ethics would not be more fervently displayed if he had taken upon himself the intricacies of de sitter space and quantum vector analysis.
His chapter on a new ethical paradigm fails to get off the ground on the first page as he finds himself unable to accept human free will, an idea he calls incoherent. In a footnote, he further finds himself explaining his position only to undermine its intellectual urgency, ” …you are no more the author of your own thoughts as I am no more the author of the next words I write.” Besides what I chose to write having nothing to do with what I thought to write (i.e. Sam Harris is a dumbass), this assertion brings to the landscape a rather old philosophic problem: Then what of ethics? He apparently has no idea that in the following pages he is arguing in a state of bad faith. For if we are to talk of determinism, then we cannot talk of ethics, and if we are to talk of ethics then we are less inclined to talk of determinism.
He further assures us that “love” is more conducive to proper ethical behavior than “hate”, a rather trivial assertion that ignores the lunatic like things people have done in the name of love, as well as hate. If this is the kind of erudition we can expect from “The New Age of Reason” we are certainly at our intellectual wits end.
We areat our wits end. Recently, a group of atheists at a California campus (where else?) set up a kiosk where students could deposit their Bibles to the dustbin and receive pornography in return, revealing that the outraged caused by the so called “subjugation” of women is not extended to the objectification of them. These little events that pop up on campuses and emanate from the bile ducts of Richard Dawkins’ website are characteristic of atheistic proclivities. They are outlandish in there behavior, and limited in their intellect. Reason is as far removed from their understanding as the essence of G-d is to those who are faithful.
Atheist will continue to attack religious believers with the very moral compass that the religions which they detest created. This is to continue until they either die off of exhaustion, or finally realize the extent of their idiocy. They are ethical “parasites” as Vox Day has so brilliantly branded them. And they need to be dealt with as such: either ignored or intellectually marginalized.