Abandon All Fear

What nobody else seems to be saying…

The Hijacking of Atheism by the Intellectual Elite

Posted by Lex Fear on August 23, 2007

When I was at school and college, I was used to atheism being an all encompassing default belief system, and atheists were like this (caution: these videos may shock and offend.):

Now, unlike some militant atheists who consider ALL people of faith to be suicide bombers (which I shall be referring to as Yellows Law in an upcoming post), I am not stupid enough to consider all atheists to be mindless, Godless thugs.

However, I think it should be important for elitists such as Dawkins, Hitchens or Harris to bear in mind next time they point fingers.

I am aware the problem may stem from the fact Christianity, whilst not always in a good way, plays a large part in the lives of a majority of Americans. This means that statistically, there are likely to be more classroom bullies that are professed Christians than atheists. Here in the UK and the rest of Europe atheism is the dominant belief system, with Christians at best politely ignored, at worst violently attacked. Personally I have been spat at by atheists whilst on mission in Manchester where we had been repainting a school (and had at the time responsibility for some young people with me).

Occasionally I’ve read news stories from the US of kids being bullied because they chose to stand up for their non-belief (usually refusing to pray or something like that). Well, it may come as a surprise to some US readers that over here, if you are to declare you are a Christian at school, college, even at some workplaces and universities, you will usually be met with the question “So, does that mean you are a virgin?” or similar. Upon answering the affirmative (if unmarried), you will experience anything from sniggers to downright laughter or even earn yourself some sort of nickname.

This is probably the reason that British anti-theists have such a wide reception and impact in the US. Over here they are barely known amongst the general public (I only know of them through blogging and US media). If they were given a platform, would merely be ‘preaching to the choir’- indeed Richard Dawkins has been on Channel 4 a number of times but I’ve not had a conversation the next day in work or even out with friends, because it’s just not controversial enough.

If you want a prominent list of atheists who have brought much bloodshed and hurt to the world, whom God graciously spared and allowed to live, no matter how provoked, see my previous posting: The War Against Theism.

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13 Responses to “The Hijacking of Atheism by the Intellectual Elite”

  1. Cecilieaux said

    Funny, but your “atheists” look to me just like the Baptist thugs who used to burn crosses on lawns and plant bombs in churches. Or the Christians (Catholic and Protestant) of Ulster — in fact, aren’t those British cabs in the film?

    I realize that the persecution complex makes better propaganda, but it is largely false. How else can 2,000 years of Christian mayhem otherwise be justified?

    The reality remains that in the Western world (and elsewhere), embracing religion is a great cover for obnoxious political and economic agendas — and in many instances a good career advancer. The big money and big power is not agnostic (which is what Dawkins says he is).

  2. You did not even get the point of my article, which leads me to believe you did not read it.

    My point was that not ALL atheists are like this, just as not ALL religious people are potential suicide bombers. Indeed we are all humans.

    As far as I know Cecilieaux, the videos were shot on UK streets, and it is a common occurance every Friday and Saturday night in most cities. I doubt these people are concerned about getting up for church on Sunday morning after a Saturday night on the tiles.

    I’ve not heard of Baptist thugs burning churches, however I’m obviously familiar with Northern Irelands problems since they were splattered all over the news regularly during the 80’s and 90’s.

    The question I would pose to you is are you referring to spriti-filled, followers of Jesus, or simply ‘wolves in sheeps clothing’ i.e. those pius individuals who call themselves Christians but follow a religion of hate and prejudice?

    When applying for a job in Northern Ireland you may be presented with a question on your application form asking if you are Catholic, Protestant or Other/Neither. I have marked myself as ‘Niether’ before now, and I do it without the slightest fear I am betraying my faith, because I am Christian, I do not wish to identify myself with either of those political-religious movements.

    The objective of my article was not due to a ‘persecution complex’, it was point out the hypocrisy of the anti-theist elite in claiming that religion is the cause of all wars, violence etc etc… where it is quite clear that human beings are the cause, since violence also stems from atheists low on intelligence. Intelligence doesn’t make you an atheist just as belief in God doesn’t make you a religious adherent of any particular faith.

    “2000 years of Christian mayhem” I really have no idea what you refer to, unless that statement is referring simply to the existence of the Christian faith, in that case I would hardly classify it as mayhem.

    I absolutely agree with you that there are people who are obnoxious people who embrace religion as a cover for their policital and economic agendas, the difficulties in Northern Ireland are proof of that. As far as being a good career advancer, it can have effects either way.

    As I said America has a very different perspecive and culture from the UK when it comes to views on religion. Here in the UK, the devout are usually ignored or derided- but I’ve already covered this in the article, I suggest you go back and read it again.

    Finally, the idea that’ big money and big power is not agnostic’ makes a good platitude but begs the question somewhat. I mean to what extent is it ‘not agnostic’- Does that mean big money and big power (BMBP) believes in soothesayers? Does not being angnostic mean absolute atheism (since it’s an either/or statement)? Could it mean, even, that BMBP believes that spending money (faith) will generate money (reward), which has nothing to do with believing in God.

  3. Cecilieaux said

    Actually, I did read your post and it can be paraphrased as roughly saying this: atheists looked to me like the thugs in these videos, but being a reasonable adult I realize that this is mistaken, atheists are merely obnoxious elitists to whom only Americans are stupid enough to pay heed.

    Setting aside the facts that Dawkins is an agnostic, not an atheist, as I myself have heard him declare in person, or that blanket assigning of stupidity to Americans is no more than knee-jerk European act of dripping envy, my response was quite on point.

    Some time ago I blogged about the issue of Christianity in response to a homilist to waved the same banners as you are waving — which disappoints me, as you have struck me as an intelligent man. In order to avoid rehearsing the same arguments, I remit you to http://cecilieaux.blogspot.com/2006/12/end-of-belief.html.

    Now I don’t disagree with you entirely, although there are some startling inconsistencies you have to decide upon. You can’t, for example, at once argue that atheists are the majority and at the same time argue that bullies are bound to be Christian since that is the majority.

    Where I agree with you, from my experience of living in Britain some years ago, and my recurrent trips to Europe — I am one of those stupid former colonials to which you referred — is that Britain is an astonishingly godless country, the godlessness having long seeped into the churches (which I attended when I lived there). But is that a philosophical stance or is that merely a combination of the traditional British reserve along with post-imperial rudderlessness?

    Lastly, but not finally, the distinction between “real” Christians and nominal ones, the straw I myself one clutched fiercely, is long broken.

    Cheerio,
    Cecilieaux

  4. Cecilieaux said

    One more citation, just to show that I am not a rabid atheist. See http://cecilieaux.blogspot.com/2006/10/going-to-atheist-church.html.

  5. My informed guess was that you are not.. I probably came off short with you in my last comment, but I do appreciate what you had to say, it gave me opportunity to expand on my original words.

    I read your post and thought it was good.

    [EDIT]

    Having noticed you posted 2 comments. On the first, I should remind you I am claiming that in the UK atheism is the dominant belief system, in the US Christianity (in variying forms) would be the dominant belief system. Therefore, bullies being a fact of life, in the UK they are most likely to be atheist, in the US they are most likely to be ‘christian’.

    On Dawkins angonsticism, he’s being very tongue in cheek. He no more believes in God than he believes in the tooth fairy, if we are to believe Dawkins is an agnostic, based on his description, then we are all agnostics, there is no such thing as an atheist or a believer.

    On your first article, very insightful, also, I agree with you that those atheists who commited atrocities actually founded a religion themselves in a sense- but they are still atheistic in that their foundations are humanism and materialism, rather than an omniscient being.

    With regards to violence perpetrated throughout history, at least, before the 20th Century, it’s a mute point. The fact is all violence before the 20th Century would have it’s roots or connections to religion because all peoples of the world believed in a God of some sort. Atheism and Evolutionism has only gained ground and become the mainstream in the last 150 years, which is why you now have football supporters now warring against each other in the streets, rather than rival religions- they are human beings, they are hard of heart and don’t listen to God.

  6. Cecilieaux said

    Fair enough.

    The concern with Dawkins and agnosticism is important. I quoted him as saying: “We are all agnostics about everything from fairies to Zeus to Yahweh. We go about life as if they did not exist, quite confident they don’t, even though of course we can’t prove it.”

    My point is that atheism requires faith, just as theism does. I lack that, as does Dawkins.

    Your counterpoint, that then we are all agnostics, sounds to me as very, very true.

    Cheers!

  7. lwtc247 said

    “Dawkins is an agnostic…I myself have heard him declare in person”

    Then Dawkins is a liar as he always argues against Religion. He never entertains the idea that he just simply doesn’t know. Far from it in fact. He poures ridicule on people who believe in something he cannot understand. That is the trait of a liar.

  8. cecilieaux said

    I don’t know Dawkins personally well enough to know whether he is a liar and I am only tangentially interested in him, thus can’t be bothered to proof-text his work. I am left with actual declarations of his that I heard with my own ears in front of many people. I am not a tape recorder, but I am used to quoting people and I am reasonably certain I quoted him correctly.

  9. Well your agreement about us all being agnostics came a bit out of left field. Perhaps because I intended irony.

    I think what’s needed here is a clarification of these terms. I don’t think Dawkins is a liar inasmuch as he twists the facts and presents those as truth.

    He is a scientist, but it seems most of the time he is trying to be a philosopher. In fact, I think the reason he insults many agnostics and non-religious philosophers is for this reason.

    Now with regards to agnosticism, the term comes from the Greek, and it references an acknowledgment that knowledge about a God or gods is not certain, it’s a form of skepticism. Whereas atheism is a complete lack of belief in a deity or personal god. And theism doesn’t need to be explained.

    Dawkins, may call himself agnostic, however this to me is like calling a bicycle a motorbike because it has roughly the same shape and two wheels. By words he speaks elsewhere, he is an atheist, or he wouldn’t present so much syllogistic fallacy and philosophy dressed up as science.

    Perhaps it would make more sense to define a belief system by a persons actions, rather than a persons words.

    With regards to your own faith Cecileaux, I wouldn’t yet dismiss you as a “wolf in sheeps clothing” as it is clear by your own confessions you are simply someone who is interested in the truth rather than personal gain.

    One more thing, in the Dawkins quote, he references Zeus and fairies, committing a fallacy of the undistributed middle. Dawkins (and many others) Attempt to categorise all unexplained myths and phenonema into one, where the origins of the beliefs are asynchronous and some are even incompatible (Zeus and Yahweh for example).

  10. lwtc247 said

    cecilieauxon.
    It’s a non-issue as to whether you quoted him correctly. What I said to you was that he was lying. And he was. Dawkins isn’t an agnostic, he hates the concept of God and the dogma it entails. Not even wondering if his statement is accurate or not is rather casual on your part. Does Dawkins mean well i.e. is he sincere? possibly, but I have little doubt that no matter what strength of pro-God arguement comes his way he’ll never accept God. I hpe I’m wrong and you never know till it’s all over, but thats my conclusion from his history. I think he likes to be a thorn in the theists side and basks somewhat in the limelight. I dont think he’s as abrasive as others like Chris Hitchens (eeew) or as flippant Gore Vidal.

  11. Cecilieaux said

    Lw,

    As I said, I don’t know Dawkins well enough to draw all the conclusions you are drawing. Hitchens I actually like, but very much before his recent bit on religion. Vidal I have never thought of as all that serious on these subjects. I tend to disagree with the theists myself.

    Cheers,
    C

  12. lwtc247 said

    You dont know him well enough to to draw all the conclusions I draw, yet you know him well enough to accept without question or reflection and analysis, his initial claim?

    Hitchens is the worst kind of fool, a chimnera of intelligence with a generous dollop of idiocy. Vidal is a just pompass twit who has come to believe his own PR.

  13. […] I’ve been trying to suggest all along, perhaps it’s time everyone realised that neither religion, nor atheism causes violence […]

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