8/07/2008

Gene Edward Veith on the New Atheism

Try the article on modern atheism by Veith here. Here’s a taste:

...The atheists' problem, though, is that however much they attack belief in God,
their own worldview lacks all appeal. They get hung up on the last remaining
absolute: Atheism is not beautiful. It is so depressing.

7 comments:

Gandolf said...

Veith"Atheism is not beautiful. It is so depressing.

If there is no God and this physical realm is all there is, life is pretty much pointless"

"Respond to this Blog
Though we do not post comments, we would like to hear from you and may take your comments into consideration in a future article."

end quote.

It seems a little sad that without gods , some folk see life as pretty much pointless .
Seems to me to beg to ask questions about why people would be feeling like this at only the loss of faith .
Surely without gods there is still many things to still be loved cherished and enjoyed , such as love of children family fellow humanity beauty in nature art music and so many many things .

It almost suggests that these gods have maybe demanded every ounce of love that no love is available for anything else .That thought i would find depressing and it does beg to bring to question the actual goodness of this matter .

Certainly some faithful folk mostly the extreme types ,with their beliefs totally set in the tempory physical nature of our presence of this life .Do sometimes show less care and importance in the need to conserve the material nature of earth , which can include thoughts of prevention of polution and over use of resources that are available for us all and should be conserved by us with great vigilance in being thoughtful of the generations to come .

Something that i personally find quite depressing is it seems that quite often some religious folk seem to be wanting to heavily censor or maybe even cease discussion on matters , unless maybe if it agrees with what they personally wish to hear .Infact i have noticed this practice is quite widespread on blogs ,even amongst some who are quite happy to push their views on blogs elsewhere .

Yet sadly this only serves to strengthen the thought that some suggest , that atleast a part of religion whether it be large or small is of a biased and bigoted nature .

Surely it is better that open discussion takes place in hope that in time debate leads to more common ground being found ,and that inclusion not devision prevails .

Samuel Skinner said...

Apparently some people don't understadn that " I really want it to be true" is NOT a valid debating position.

Gandolf said...

Samuel Skinner said...
"Apparently some people don't understadn that I really want it to be true is NOT a valid debating position."

Sam there is no room for discussion they just suggest/dictate: "Atheism is not beautiful. It is so depressing.
If there is no God and this physical realm is all there is, life is pretty much pointless"

Its got nothing to do with
"i really want it to be true " and more to do with "is what has been suggested honestly right and is life really totally pointless with out gods ".

Without room for discussion surely it is only a biased one sided view ,that simply reeks of bigotry .

I amagine if Atheists such as Dawkins were refusing to discuss claims they made about god and the faithful publicly prefering the onesided smear tactic , there would be worldwide outrage from the faithful.

Probbly one of the worst things religious folk can do for faith at the present time , is to seem to be closed minded .The openminded youth of today are watching , and pick up on these things .

It doesnt really worry me if people decide they will not discuss matters , i simply make a point of pointing it out . As really it already speaks for itself ,looks like dictatorial bigotry to me .

You tell me what it looks like to others including the youth who see it ? .

Gandolf said...

On thinking more on what you said Sam, if you had said "Apparently some people DO UNDERSTAND that " I really want it to be true" is NOT a valid debating position.

Then that would all make sense to me . They on the blog really do " want it to be true ",that atheist find nothing to love in life . And without enough evidence to prove it , only considder a debate to be invalid .

Childish really , comparable to a kid stomping off throwing a tantrum .

J. K. Jones said...

Samuel Skinner,

“Apparently some people don't understadn that " I really want it to be true" is NOT a valid debating position.”

Veith gives an argument in the post over at Ligonier if you take time to read the article.




Gandolf,

“Yet sadly this only serves to strengthen the thought that some suggest , that atleast a part of religion whether it be large or small is of a biased and bigoted nature .Surely it is better that open discussion takes place in hope that in time debate leads to more common ground being found ,and that inclusion not devision prevails .”

Strange that you would put this comment on my blog, where your comments have been welcomed. I will take your comments seriously and review evidence for your position, should you provide any. That is the definition of inclusion in ‘the market place of ideas.’


“Surely without gods there is still many things to still be loved cherished and enjoyed , such as love of children family fellow humanity beauty in nature art music and so many many things .”

Please see my comments on the post before this one on this blog. It’s not that an atheist cannot value life, appreciate beauty, enjoy art, be morally straight, or love other people. The question is: how is this rationally justified in the atheist view of the world? If all we are is just matter in motion, if all we live in is a purely physical universe, then why should I expect that people have value, or even the power of free choice?

Valuing the individual person is a requirement for the justification of morality. If people have no value in and of themselves outside the value placed upon them by society, other individuals, etc. it is very difficult to justify even basic moral concepts like loving others as we love ourselves.

Also, the individual person must have the power to choose moral paths. If a person cannot choose according to their basic desires, we cannot hold them accountable. All of their decisions are made for them by genetics, the way their parents raised them, the friends they spend time with, etc.

For more on this topic, please see the search label “Moral Argument.”




Skinner and Gandolf,

Ligonier provides many arguments for God’s existence at www.ligonier.org. Follow the links to “Ask R. C.”

I also provide many arguments on this blog in favor of the Christian position. You can respond to them if you like. God’s existence has been demonstrated through compelling arguments. Christ’s life and death can make a difference to you. Please try any search label that has the word “Argument” in it. I would recommend starting with “Cosmological Argument.”


JK

Gandolf said...

Jk im thankful my comments have been welcomed on your blog like you i believe inclusion is the best way forward .It may seem strange but my reason to post what i said on your blog is to point out that a post on Ligonier you made a reference to , is suggesting a very generalised view suggesting all non believers lives are pointless without any god .Without the option of being able to post comments , to question or agree on this judgement of non believers supposid pointless life . This blog http://4bya.wordpress.com/2008/08/08/the-challenge-of-new-atheism/ talks a little about it ,refusing discussion is not going to be likely to work or be good for anyone .

We have value and a mind to make choices through experiences and thoughts these form our morals .Some make bad choices which some also learn from along the way .For instance no god is telling us globel warming might be a problem , we are learning from experience and with revaluating facts and our morals .

My decisions choices and morals are not just formed from friends and family , that would be to suggest that every human is like a sheep .If this was true wouldnt life amongst humanity be likely to be more uniform .I can honestly say im often among friends and family that do many things i choose not to do .

That is why it seems to me to be senseless to suggest that faiths (religion) lead to good any more than the likely hood of non faith leading to bad .I can point you towards much recorded evidence of faithful who ended up bad , just as i can point out evidence of non faithful doing good .We are social but also individuals ,we look and listen and learn but do not always need to follow .And so our thoughts and morals evolve also .That does not have to mean our lives are pointless ,far from it i suggest.

Thanks i will look at more of your blogs i may or may not make more comment .I do tend to comment more on blogs that are newly published .

J. K. Jones said...

Gandolf,

“…a very generalised view suggesting all non believers lives are pointless without any god..”

Some of the background on the Ligonier Ministries Blog Policy. They used to have a popular internet discussion forum. Many people left legitimate comments. Many people left comments just to take up space (it seemed deliberate to me, like they were trying to shut down the forum on purpose). They had hired a full-time person to administer the forum, but it was obvious he could not keep up. The forum was shut down. That many have something to do with their blog policy. Also, they are a very popular ministry, and I have no doubt they would be overwhelmed.

The argument being presented is not that atheists are incapable of living moral lives (loving their neighbors, valuing people, being good citizens, etc.) The thrust of the argument is that there is no rational basis for doing this in that view. I have read many atheists who have tried, and I have found their arguments inconsistent. I will continue to read and discuss. As far as Veith’s article: he’s a big boy; I am sure he can take care of himself.


“…refusing discussion is not going to be likely to work or be good for anyone…”

I believe in separation of church and state, just like the historic Baptist church (google search on John Leland, Roger Williams, or “Baptist separation of church and state). Open discussion, debate, and good-natured argument are the only ways I will use to advance my religion. Anything else is a misuse of power by the church.

“…We have value and a mind to make choices through experiences and thoughts these form our morals…”

But what if my experiences and thoughts differ from yours?

“…Some make bad choices which some also learn from along the way…”

I have made many wrong choices, and my religion teaches me that we all have made bad choices. We would call it “committing sins.” God cannot bless us when we have sinned. This is why we place so much emphasis on Christ’s life and death allowing us to put our relationship with God right.

“…no god is telling us globel warming might be a problem…”

But He did place us in the garden and require us to exercise dominion (stewardship and care) for it (Genesis 1:28). He has also blessed us with the ability to reason. We are required to take care of what God has given us to rule. I find it interesting that we have been able to discover, with our God-given reason, to discover the dangers of environment pollution before our world ecosystem was wrecked.

“…it seems to me to be senseless to suggest that faiths (religion) lead to good any more than the likely hood of non faith leading to bad…”

My point is that our sin leads to condemnation for all of us, Christian and non-Christian. We only can be forgive and made right by trusting Christ and what He did on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins.



.I can point you towards much recorded evidence of faithful who ended up bad , just as i can point out evidence of non faithful doing good .We are social but also individuals ,we look and listen and learn but do not always need to follow .And so our thoughts and morals evolve also .

“…That does not have to mean our lives are pointless…”

Human beings are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27), and they are valuable because of that. We are valuable no matter what we have done or will do because we are, in a non-moral sense, like God.

Hope to hear from you again soon.

JK

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