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What the New Atheists Donít See
http://www.city-journal.org/html/17_4_oh_to_be.html ^ | Theodore Dalrymple

Posted on 10/28/2007 3:39:04 PM PDT by ventanax5

The British parliament’s first avowedly atheist member, Charles Bradlaugh, would stride into public meetings in the 1880s, take out his pocket watch, and challenge God to strike him dead in 60 seconds. God bided his time, but got Bradlaugh in the end. A slightly later atheist, Bertrand Russell, was once asked what he would do if it proved that he was mistaken and if he met his maker in the hereafter. He would demand to know, Russell replied with all the high-pitched fervor of his pedantry, why God had not made the evidence of his existence plainer and more irrefutable. And Jean-Paul Sartre came up with a memorable line: “God doesn’t exist—the bastard!”

Sartre’s wonderful outburst of disappointed rage suggests that it is not as easy as one might suppose to rid oneself of the notion of God. (Perhaps this is the time to declare that I am not myself a believer.) At the very least, Sartre’s line implies that God’s existence would solve some kind of problem—actually, a profound one: the transcendent purpose of human existence. Few of us, especially as we grow older, are entirely comfortable with the idea that life is full of sound and fury but signi-fies nothing. However much philosophers tell us that it is illogical to fear death, and that at worst it is only the process of dying that we should fear, people still fear death as much as ever. In like fashion, however many times philosophers say that it is up to us ourselves, and to no one else, to find the meaning of life, we continue to long for a transcendent purpose immanent in existence itself, independent of our own wills.

(Excerpt) Read more at city-journal.org ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: atheist; atheists; cityjournal; dalrymple; faith; painfulread; religion
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To: beckett

Theodore Dalrymple (real name Dr. Anthony Daniels) is an amazingly prolific writer.

Search his books, I have read them all and they are worth reading.


21 posted on 10/28/2007 5:59:49 PM PDT by Chickensoup (If it is not permitted, it is prohibited. Only the government can permit....)
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To: goldstategop

that is beautiful


22 posted on 10/28/2007 6:03:59 PM PDT by ncpatriot
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To: ventanax5

Dalrymple is always worth reading.

He doesn’t usually talk about himself, so I had not realized that he is an agnostic, but a sensible one who knows that he doesn’t know.

He understands the basic paradox—that without some sort of religious account, reasoning has no basis. You need something like the logos of the Greeks, or the Logos of Christianity. If your explanation of “everything” is purely materialist or evolutionary, then, as he says, you’d might as well quit thinking or worrying, because it’s all meaningless and arbitrary, including your thought processes.


23 posted on 10/28/2007 6:54:17 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: aimhigh

This is a little off subject , but I got an email today about a new kids movie coming out starring Nicole Kidman called The Golden Compass. It is written by someone that hates CS Lewis and is the anti-Narnia movie where God is killed in the end Here is the link-—http://snopes.com/politics/religion/compass/asp

Has anyone heard of this? They are trying to go after the children.


24 posted on 10/28/2007 7:35:25 PM PDT by dandiegirl
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To: ventanax5
The British parliament’s first avowedly atheist member
Charles Bradlaugh
would stride into public meetings in the 1880s
take out his pocket watch
and challenge God to strike him dead in 60 seconds.

Benito Mussolini used to do the same thing.

25 posted on 10/28/2007 7:38:14 PM PDT by Allan (*-O)):~{>)
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To: Lord Basil

The only problem I have with that thinking is that that line could be used with any religion...

The animists of Africa could argue the same as would Islamists....there might or might not be an after life but its better to be prepared just in case! Worship this stone or chop off the head of the infidel...at the least there is nothing after death but at the most, enjoy your 72 virgins.

With the “just in case” arguement, there is nothing that sets Christianity above any other religion and you might as well worship a case of vodka or a catsup stained commemorative plate of Dale Earnhardt,Jr.!


26 posted on 10/28/2007 7:50:01 PM PDT by mdmathis6
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To: mdmathis6
This discussion wasn't about any religion, but about atheism (whether or not an Almighty exists).
27 posted on 10/29/2007 4:49:00 AM PDT by Lord Basil
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To: Lord Basil

I wasn’t arguing about religions either and I should have elaborated a bit more. An Atheist may very well argue the point that taking that particular line of reasoning puts ones belief in Christ on the same level as those who use that arguement for their “alternate” religious beliefs as well.

Some persons, persuaded that any sort of belief should be worshiped...”just in case its true” may conclude that an Islamic conversion is in order “just in case”. After-all Islamic beliefs accommodate all that can be loathsome(in a Christian sense) with in the human male psyche, they’re a lot more fun...at least for the human male!


28 posted on 10/29/2007 5:31:09 AM PDT by mdmathis6
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To: ventanax5
"However much philosophers tell us that it is illogical to fear death, and that at worst it is only the process of dying that we should fear, people still fear death as much as ever. In like fashion, however many times philosophers say that it is up to us ourselves, and to no one else, to find the meaning of life, we continue to long for a transcendent purpose immanent in existence itself, independent of our own wills."

The universal human dissatisfaction with mortality is forever reaching out for a connection to the eternal:

THE POLITICS OF PROCREATION!

In a secular sense, homosexuality is an idolatry of perversion. It is in no way an anatomical function of the human organism, but a phantasmagoric creation from within the mentally disturbed human mind, a social psychosis, naked and on full exhibitionist display.

Homosexual monogamy advocates seek ceremonious sanctification of their anatomical perversions and esoteric absolution for their guilt-ridden, impoverished egos.

Neither of those will satisfy their universal dissatisfaction with mortality or connect them to something eternal. With pantheons of fantasies as their medium of infinitization, they still have nothing in them of reality, any more than there is in the things that seem to stand before us in a dream.

Homosexual deviancy is really a pagan practice (and a self-induced social psychosis) at war with the Judaic culture over what is written in the book of Genesis (1:27, 2:18).

This is exactly what the National Socialists were at war with... so, when someone uses the term "Gaystapo," they might not realize how close to the truth they really are, especially if you consider the NAZI eugenic breeding programs.

Many will seek ceremonious sanctification and esoteric absolution in some type of marriage rite, but that still fails to give them a connection to the eternal in both a religious and temporal, procreant sense - - the union does not produce offspring.

Dissatisfaction with inevitable mortality only feeds the impoverishment of the ego further. Homosexuals really hate human life; their whole desire is rooted in the destruction of it.

Contemplate the religious fervor associated with the pro-abortion advocacy. The societal practice of abortion is ritual mass murder upon the altars of conceit dedicated to idolatrous vanities, a collective human sacrifice before pagan idols.

It has a similitude to the Teutonic paganism of Adolph Hitler (whose idolatry was the idea of a "master race," among other things). In effect, these genocides are a mass human sacrifice to those pagan idols. The abortionists, like the National Socialists, incinerate the remains of their victims.

Aleister Crowley, who openly supported the National Socialists, was affiliated with Ordo Templi Orientis, Golden Dawn, A.A. (Order of the Silver Star) and other such occult lodges all across Germany. Crowley engaged in all manner of deviancy, homoeroticism, sadomasochism and murder. Much of the occultism in National Socialism is derived directly from there.

Crowley envisioned himself as the Great Beast (Το Μεγα Θηριον ), just as der Fuhrer made himself in that image. Hitler's life as a struggling, inept artist was where that association blossomed.

Crowley's creed, "Do what thou wilt, shall be the whole of the Law," (which is actually from Francois Rabelais) and used by Neo-Pagan nutcases without attribution for obvious politically correct reasons, is with certainty no different than the National Socialist "will to power," or their ubermensch mentality.

It is also no accident Nietzsche's "over-man" and nihilist philosophy and resulting insanity from venereal disease closely mirrors the insanity of der Fuhrer. These occult orders, sex and drug cults still survive today, as do the Neo-pagan, Neo-Nazi groups, black supremacist Rastafarian potheads, prison gangs and other related filth.

PlatoÂ’s Euthyphro is a great illustration. Socrates advances the argument to Euthyphro that, piety to the gods, who all want conflicting devotions and/or actions from humans, is impossible. (Socrates exposed the pagan esoteric sophistry.)

Likewise, morals are such a construction of idols used by the Left as a rationale for them to demand compliance to their wishes in politics, which most often are a skewed mess of fallacies in logic. Morals are a deceptive replacement for the avoidance of sin.

Today, "morals" are a religious pagan philosophy of esoteric hobgoblins. Transfiguration is a pantheon of fantasies as the medium of infinitization. Others get derision for having an unwavering Judaic belief in Yahweh or Yeshua, although their critics and enemies will evangelize insertion of phantasmagoric fetishisms into secular law.

A greater number of "atheists" and "pagans" adopt the same hackneyed tenets of a faux Judaic-Christian ideal (golden calf). They also subscribe to the Judaic fetishism of "sin," but will fight to their death in denial of it. Most of them are so wrapped up in their own polemics that they have become nothing more than pathetic anti-Christians with the same false hypocritical philosophy. They just slap a new label on it hoping nobody will notice - - they replace the idea of "avoiding sin" with "morals."

Morality and all of its associated ideals are rooted entirely in the presupposition some higher power defines what is correct for human behavior.

Sarcasm:

But, since we are all properly obeying the * modern interpretation * of the First Amendment, good & evil isn't the question... Good & bad, right & wrong, etc., etc., ad nausea; are all inherently religious ideals.

The modern interpretation of the First Amendment (according to the liberal-tarians) says government must exorcise all traces of religion and theism from itself. Therefore, government must never consider issues of morality and right and wrong...

So, it becomes a question of benefits versus costs. Fetus killing has its benefits to society, especially if you like to sleep late on Saturdays. But it also has its costs as well. Society (by which I mean, whoever manages to seize power) needs to evaluate these costs and decide accordingly.

The mythical rights of men and women are also meaningless. The very concept of rights is also founded in religion. Since the enlightened person is freed from any superstitions about some "God," they are free from having to worry about "rights." Only raw power counts and humans are just meat puppets for the powerful...

29 posted on 10/29/2007 5:44:39 AM PDT by Sir Francis Dashwood (LET'S ROLL!)
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To: ventanax5

>>>However much philosophers tell us that it is illogical to fear death, ....

Here’s where I think he pitches outside the strike zone. People don’t always just fear death. They fear the knowledge of the opportunity cost of what they could have gotten done, if they’d gotten their butts off of the couch. People fear dying with regrets.


30 posted on 10/29/2007 6:13:34 AM PDT by .cnI redruM (New Republic? Same old Left.)
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To: Cicero

There’s a *BIG* difference between an agnostic, often an honest and deep thinker who honestly does not feel that the evidence supports the existence of God(or the specific God of Judeo-Christianity, in this case) , and the Atheist who, IMHO just has a different religion, and one that is based of ‘faith’ as much as any other (with an apparent concomitant to proselytize in just as annoying a manner!). To the Evangelical Christian, of course *BOTH* are going to hell, but for the purposes of logical reasoning the former is at least an intellectually honest position.


31 posted on 10/29/2007 6:18:12 PM PDT by RedStateRocker (When the government fears the People= Liberty. When the People fear the Government =Tyranny)
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To: ventanax5

A few years back, the National Gallery held an exhibition of Spanish still-life paintings. One of these paintings had a physical effect on the people who sauntered in, stopping them in their tracks; some even gasped. I have never seen an image have such an impact on people. The painting, by Juan Sánchez Cotán, now hangs in the San Diego Museum of Art. It showed four fruits and vegetables, two suspended by string, forming a parabola in a gray stone window.

Even if you did not know that Sánchez Cotán was a seventeenth-century Spanish priest, you could know that the painter was religious: for this picture is a visual testimony of gratitude for the beauty of those things that sustain us. Once you have seen it, and concentrated your attention on it, you will never take the existence of the humble cabbage—or of anything else—quite so much for granted, but will see its beauty and be thankful for it. The painting is a permanent call to contemplation of the meaning of human life, and as such it arrested people who ordinarily were not, I suspect, much given to quiet contemplation.

The same holds true with the work of the great Dutch still-life painters. On the neo-atheist view, the religious connection between Catholic Spain and Protestant Holland is one of conflict, war, and massacre only: and certainly one cannot deny this history. And yet something more exists. As with Sánchez Cotán, only a deep reverence, an ability not to take existence for granted, could turn a representation of a herring on a pewter plate into an object of transcendent beauty, worthy of serious reflection.


32 posted on 10/29/2007 7:44:33 PM PDT by ventanax5
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To: Coleus; firebrand; Clemenza; rmlew; Yehuda

ping


33 posted on 10/29/2007 7:55:43 PM PDT by Cacique (quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat ( Islamia Delenda Est ))
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To: ventanax5

thanks, bfl


34 posted on 10/29/2007 7:58:44 PM PDT by neverdem (Call talk radio. We need a Constitutional Amendment for Congressional term limits. Let's Roll!)
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To: ClearCase_guy
Then my eyes were opened and I realized that the mind of man cannot hold these things.

Just as a parent tells a child not to wander away in the mall.

You would not regale the child in every case about how they might fall into the hands of some molester or murderer, describing in extensive detail the gruesome acts that they would be subject to.

35 posted on 10/29/2007 10:34:29 PM PDT by He Rides A White Horse (unite)
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To: ventanax5
The British parliament’s first avowedly atheist member, Charles Bradlaugh, would stride into public meetings in the 1880s, take out his pocket watch, and challenge God to strike him dead in 60 seconds.

What a silly exercise, on many levels.

36 posted on 10/29/2007 10:38:28 PM PDT by He Rides A White Horse (unite)
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To: ventanax5

Lots of interesting comments on this thread. Bumping for later....


37 posted on 10/30/2007 5:05:42 AM PDT by NewJerseyJoe (Rat mantra: "Facts are meaningless! You can use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!")
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To: Cicero
Dalrymple is always worth reading.

Especially for the Shakespearean allusions. There was quite a lot in this article... but I was hoping for more. I liked his take on Hitchens, who for his drinking and ravings on religion, reminds me of Richard Burton in The Night of the Iguana. In some crazy way, if the drinking continues, Hitch is playing Burton playing Burton.

38 posted on 10/30/2007 7:09:45 AM PDT by Blind Eye Jones
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To: dandiegirl

Yes, that is basically correct. The Golden Compass is a subtle attack on Christianity, which gets less and less subtle as the trilogy proceeds.

Since I’m an SF/fantasy fan, I read it when it first came out. I think the blurbs compared it, utterly falsely, to Lewis and Madeline Engle. False and deceiving.

Pullman is the anti-C.S. Lewis. His God, in the end, turns out to be Blake’s Nobodaddy.

I presume the movie will be similar, since hating and undermining God and Christiandity is something that Hollywood is currently very fond of doing. They especially enjoy corrupting kids.


39 posted on 10/30/2007 9:05:39 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Blind Eye Jones

It’s good to read someone with a little education in this increasingly yuppified world, where the height of journalistic accomplishment is represented by Maureen Dowd.


40 posted on 10/30/2007 9:15:04 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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