Episode IV: A New Dope

darth_vader

(Scene from Star Wars: A New Hope)

Admiral Motti: “This station is now the ultimate power in the universe. I suggest we use it.”

Darth Vader: “Don’t be too proud of this technological terror you’ve constructed. The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.”

Admiral Motti: “Don’t try to frighten us with your sorcerous ways, Lord Vader. Your sad devotion to that ancient religion has not helped you conjure up the stolen data tapes or given you clairvoyance enough to find the Rebel’s hidden fortress… uurgh.”

(At this time Vader, using the Force, was telekinetically choking Admiral Motti)

Darth Vader: “I find your lack of faith disturbing.”

Grand Moff Tarkin: “This bickering is pointless. Vader, release him!”

Darth Vader: “As you wish.” (Vader then releases Motti)

Dopey atheists can be quite a handful, especially the loud juvenile and rabid types. A lot of them certainly come across as a bunch of condescending “know-it-alls” who project that they are intellectually and morally superior to their god-believing counterpart. Maybe it is just my age that is doing a number on my patience but if I were Darth Vader I probably would telekinetically choke the brats. I just don’t seem to have too much patience anymore with those who have nothing to offer but mere disdain for religion and theism. I used to be an atheist myself but sometimes when I engage these rabid anti-religionists in a discussion, I notice that they love to paint their opponents as irrational superstitious dummies in order to discredit their position; as if being a “God-believer” is necessarily bad or inferior. They erect one straw man after another and knock them down with so much gusto. I wonder if these folks are just hardwired to dwell on cheap sniping at their opponents and religionists.

Now some of these folks prefer to be called “humanists”, although their hatred of religion and religionists emanate from their words. Some of them claim that they find the notion of God to be false and that they are simply sick and tired of biblical inconsistencies and evangelists who engage in indoctrination. Well, what does biblical inconsistencies and evangelism have anything to do with God’s truth? So God must be false because some book that describes what God is supposed to be is inconsistent or even incoherent? That God must be false because of some annoying jerk who just wouldn’t leave us alone without us having to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Personal Savior?

Sure, inconsistencies and incoherence are signs of incorrectness. If a set of ideas contain contradictions, if any idea conflicts with any other, the whole set may be doubted. However, it is one thing to say that incoherence shows incorrectness, it is quite another to say that coherence proves correctness. We cannot say that any coherent set of ideas must be true.

These folks, I think, fail to see the possibility of constructing a set of ideas that agree with one another, yet still be incorrect. Let’s take Nazi Germany, for example. Many Germans at the time convinced themselves that certain ideas were true. For example, many of them convinced themselves that the Jews were inferior to them, that the Jews were some sort of subhuman beings. Once they became convinced of that, an entirely new moral viewpoint that was coherent was allowed to emerge. The rules about how humans ought to be treated no longer applied to the subhuman Jews. Killing them or using them as mere means is justified.

The point is not whether we all agree with this moral viewpoint of the Nazis. It’s not even whether all Germans at the time did it (many of them did not). That is not the point. The point is whether coherence really determines truth or not.

Consider this typical argument from militant atheists:

God = Bible
Bible = Inconsistencies
Inconsistencies = Falsehood
therefore
God = Falsehood

Being convinced that God = Bible (or that the Bible is the literal Word of God), these folks think their argument is coherent. While we can grant them coherence it does not necessarily mean it is correct. Are God and the Bible really the same? Is the Bible really literally God’s Word? Is God even specific to the Judeo-Christian tradition? Are there no any other Gods outside of Judeo-Christianity? Are there no other expressions of God other than those from Judeo-Christianity and even theism? It appears that these anti-theists (Which I think is the more correct term to use) are ignorant on the matter yet they seem quite sure of their position.

It’s quite disturbing, really. Rabid young anti-theists project intellectual superiority when in fact they seem to be quite ignorant of the things they bash. Folks like these, I think, are embarrassment to atheism and well-intentioned atheist and humanist groups. It’s as if we have these padawan learners who are too eager to duke it out with Darth Sidius and Count Dooku just because they know a little something about the Force. It’s really quite pathetic.

So is atheism about bashing theism? I would love to believe that it isn’t. So what is atheism supposed to be like? Well, I will leave this to the self-professing atheists. However, I would like to offer suggestions on what atheism should not be like. It shouldn’t be rude, arrogant, hateful and delusional as many self-professing atheists project. It’s ironic, really. These folks label theists as delusional while at the same time they think they can kill theism simply by exposing theism’s folly. It is as if these folks think that exposing the flaws of belief and the past atrocities committed under religion would banish religion on the face of the Earth. This sounds as absurd as the thinking of one of the greatest humanist-atheist thinkers, JS Mill, when he expressed that sexuality is merely socially constructed and that if men were only able to magic away another part of human experience – sexuality, as the desire for it has also caused too much violence, it would pave the way for a peaceful world. Just like John Lennon’s “Imagine”, a song about dreaming of an alternative world of peace through a brotherhood of man without religion, JS Mill dreams of an alternative way for the world without sexuality. But like sexuality, religion has and will always be a part of humanity.

It’s really unfortunate that atheism often gets tainted by the rabid dopes in its fold. Perhaps if Darth Vader were to encounter these brats he would say: “The Force is with you… but you dopes are not Jedis yet”.

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Post Author: Hector Gamboa

Calling a spade, a spade...

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25 Comments on "Episode IV: A New Dope"

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tomas
Guest

i do not believe humans, with only a limited capacity of the brain being utilized can quantify the existence of a “GOD” concept with the limited senses given to us. having said that i find the hyperliteral interpretation of the bible and juvenile sniping of these militants as annoying and no different from the holier than thou moralism of rabid fundamentalists.

marius
Guest

I don’t get it. What does this have to do with the Philippines – one of the most credulous nations on the planet?

marius
Guest

And incidentally, you just wasted a really good title for the forthcoming elections.

Dax
Guest

Irreligion is rising in some western countries at a fast rate, study suggests.

Dax
Guest

Of course 😀 or like saying the Bermuda Triangle is REAL cause of the significant amount of unexplained disappearances that occurred in that particular area of the ocean… Oh man 10 billion burgers?, people should really cut the junk food consumption, obesity is becoming a HUGE problem 😀

Robert Haighton
Member

Maybe you are talking about people like me, being an atheist.
I can tell you this, that I have friends from all kinds of religions (I think most of them are either moderate or enlightened religious people). But I really cant stand those people who say stupid things like: I have sinned (and then asking for foregiveness0; god made my partner pregnant (yeah, right. Duh.). And people who are at all not critical about their own religion.

d_forsaken
Guest

I’d take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day.

GERRY
Guest

The Men that founded the USA and wrote the ‘Declaration of Independence’ and U.S. Constitution wanted people to be able to believe what they wanted to believe w/out interference from Gov’t. or other persons and organizations.
Believe what you want to believe,don’t thrust it upon others and respecting others rights to do so seems a consistent way to pursuse happiness,life and liberty.
For that very reason this article seems disrespectful,if only due to others disrespect of religion,still: Two wrongs do not make a right.

PEACE, HAPPY EASTER !

44Toro0075
Guest

Religions are just sets of opinions about , whether a God exist or a God does not exist. If you believe in God. I respect it. If you do not believe in God. I respect it also. It is just a matter of differences of Opinions.
What is Food to you…may be Poison to me.

Let us not kill, murder, or harass each other, because of the differences of opinions on our God.
Or force your opinion (beliefs of God) on other people’s throats…

54Toro007Hayden
Guest

HAPPY EASTER TO ALL!!!

Add
Guest
..”… I used to be an atheist myself but sometimes when I engage these rabid anti-religionists in a discussion, I notice that they love to paint their opponents as irrational superstitious dummies in order to discredit their position; as if being a “God-believer” is necessarily bad or inferior. …” Relax, man. I too dabbled into “born-again”, Buddhism, and atheism at various points in my life before reverting to Catholicism. No need to tell a story how I got back to the religion of my birth, but I remember having a renewed spirit like I discovered something new that I started… Read more »
Add
Guest

Correction, 3rd par from last….if you have been following Darwin… shud read …if you have been following Dawkins

hehehe.. cant follow Darwin. He is already 6ft under the ground.

Anyway, Happy Easter to you, Hector, and to all. Jesus Christ is risen. Alleluia.

Thanks again, Benign0, for tolerating this long comment.

Naknak
Guest

The article and this comment made my holiday at work worthwhile pumping up my blood and my neurons. It’s really tedious work during Easter. Thanks, Add and Hector. I must say religion and anti-theism is only interesting because of God at the center.

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