Saturday, November 24, 2007

An Atheist Looks at the Neo-Atheists

Theodore Dalrymple, an atheist, critiques the neo-atheists in an essay titled, 'What the New Atheists Don’t See', 'To regret religion is to regret Western civilization' in City Journal.
[...]The philosophers Daniel Dennett, A. C. Grayling, Michel Onfray, and Sam Harris, biologist Richard Dawkins, and journalist and critic Christopher Hitchens have all written books roundly condemning religion and its works.[...]
[...]The thinness of the new atheism is evident in its approach to our civilization, which until recently was religious to its core. To regret religion is, in fact, to regret our civilization and its monuments, its achievements, and its legacy. And in my own view, the absence of religious faith, provided that such faith is not murderously intolerant, can have a deleterious effect upon human character and personality. If you empty the world of purpose, make it one of brute fact alone, you empty it (for many people, at any rate) of reasons for gratitude, and a sense of gratitude is necessary for both happiness and decency. For what can soon, and all too easily, replace gratitude is a sense of entitlement. Without gratitude, it is hard to appreciate, or be satisfied with, what you have: and life will become an existential shopping spree that no product satisfies.[...]
[...]Harris tells us, for example, that “we must find our way to a time when faith, without evidence, disgraces anyone who would claim it. Given the present state of the world, there appears to be no other future worth wanting.”[...]

It becomes even more sinister when considered in conjunction with the following sentences, quite possibly the most disgraceful that I have read in a book by a man posing as a rationalist: “The link between belief and behavior raises the stakes considerably. Some propositions are so dangerous that it may be ethical to kill people for believing them. This may seem an extraordinary claim, but it merely enunciates an ordinary fact about the world in which we live.”[...]
For those with no vision for eternity it used to be, 'Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die.' 'Christians, stop shoving your 'gospel' down our throats.'

Now, however, it is increasingly likely to be, 'Eat, drink, and don't allow anyone to be merry outside of the approved parameters or tomorrow they'll die.' 'Citizens, we'll judicially legislate our gospel throughout your lives.'
The wicked plots against the righteous and gnashes his teeth at him, but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he sees that his day is coming. Psalm 37:12,13 ESV

Friday, November 16, 2007

Am I My Brother's Keeper?

"Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?" He said, "I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?'"
Cain's question is most often interpreted to be a selfish denial of his responsibility to be his brother's keeper. To the contrary, however, Cain had actually presumed to be his brother's keeper. He considered Abel's life to be under his authority, to be given or taken at his pleasure. Cain had taken and swallowed the bait of temptation just as his mother, Eve, had done when she chose to act upon the claim, 'You will be be like God.'

In more modern times, the seductive lure of being like God changes only in outward rhetoric. It nonetheless remains as Solomon stated so long ago, "There is nothing new under the sun."

One 'academic scribbler from a few years back' causing wannabe 'madmen in authority to distill their frenzy' is Julian Huxley. In his essay, 'Transhumanism' published in New Bottles for New Wine in 1957, Huxley purported to be like God, albeit in more sophisticated, yet nevertheless thinly veiled terms:
As a result of a thousand million years of evolution, the universe is becoming conscious of itself, able to understand something of its past history and its possible future. This cosmic self-awareness is being realized in one tiny fragment of the universe-- in a few of us human beings.[italics mine][...]

It is as if man had been suddenly appointed managing director of the biggest business of all, the business of evolution-- appointed without being asked if he wanted it, and without proper warning and preparation. What is more, he can't refuse the job. Whether he wants to or not, whether he is conscious of what he is doing or not, he is in point of fact determining the future direction of evolution on this earth. That is his inescapable destiny, and the sooner he realizes it and starts believing in it, the better for all concerned.

What the job really boils down to is this-- the fullest realization of man's possibilities, whether by the individual, by the community, or by the species in its processional adventure along the corridors of time.[...]

The world's unrest is largely due to this new belief... The unrest will produce some unpleasant consequences before it is dissipated; but it is in essence a beneficent unrest, a dynamic force which will not be stilled until it has laid the physiological foundations of human destiny.[italics mine][...]

We are already justified in the conviction that human life as we know it in history is a wretched makeshift, rooted in ignorance; and that it could be transcended by a state of existence based on the illumination of knowledge and comprehension,[...]

We shall start from new premises. For instance, that beauty (something to enjoy and something to be proud of) is indispensable, and therefore that ugly or depressing towns are immoral; that quality of people not mere quantity, is what we must aim at, and therefore that a concerted policy is required to prevent the present flood of population-increase from wrecking all our hopes for a better world;[...]
It is only a small wonder that Progressive politicians are distilling their frenzy from this academic scribbler's voice in the air. It has always been seductive to view yourself as God, not only over your own life, but also over the lives of others. It is certain, they say, that we are our brother's keeper.

The intended answer to Cain's question is, "No, I am my brother's brother. LORD, you are my brother's keeper, as well as mine."

Friday, November 09, 2007

Working to Fix Social Security

Social Security- George Bush, Paul Ryan, and Lance Burri just don't get it. They have been sucked into the vortex of the great misconception swirling throughout the present political scene. Like them, most think that there presently exists no politically feasible fix to the fast approaching Social Security collapse.

Although President Bush proposed a solution, it was swept from the table with scorn and derision. Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan's plan never even saw the light of day as it was ripped from the womb and thrown into a D.C. dumpster. Few others even dare speak of the 'third rail' (other than to criticize the present administration) so no other serious plans are even being discussed. This totally misses the reality, however, that this national economic crisis is already well on the way to being solved. There are just a few of the small preparatory steps to be laid and/or finished in order to complete the successful Progressive fix of Social Security.

The first stepping stone in a Social Security fix has already been laid and is nearly finished. This is the rock of the public/government educational system. It's importance is not only prescribing particular accepted curricula, but also proscribing that which may not be taught or even broached for the purpose of contrasting ideas. Its inculcation stretches from pre-kindergarten on through Ph.D. programs throughout the system.

The next step is actually composed of a mosaic that incorporates numerous smaller stones to form a single step. It is made up of individual tiles such as global warming/climate change, diversity, immigration issues, multiculturalism, imperialistic foreign policy history, political correctness, poverty, racism; all the evils of capitalism. To be an American is to be guilty; guilty not only for one's own selfish missteps, but also for those of all other Americans, especially those long dead.

One major issue of the upcoming 2008 election that will form the final stepping stone toward the Progressive fix of Social Security is government run health care. The universally proven high cost and limited efficacy of similar programs in other nations will prove invaluable tools in fixing Social Security in ours.

With all these stones in place, the ancient First Table will have been totally bypassed; the Second Table will be written on recycled paper in pencil with a large eraser on standby. The path to saving Social Security will be successfully completed.

In the near future, the 'Baby Boomers' will be the majority of recipients of Social Security. For each recipient there will only three or four taxpayers to support them. Economic pressure, both personal and national will be great. The guilt-trip laid upon the shoulders of the elderly would even make a 'Jewish Mother' blush. Already weakened by decades laden with the guilt of having live a life of greed, imperialism, racism, and planet-destruction, these senior parasites will finally succumb under the further burden cast by accusations of selfishly spending their children's inheritance through over usage of medical facility space and equipment, wasting technical expertise and staff hours, and causing skyrocketing costs. They are not even keeping up with their carbon credit payments for their planetary sins. Legislated euthanasia will ease that pressure. The elderly will be humanely provided a painless death with dignity.

A good death. A death with dignity. Every senior a wanted senior. It's for the children. It will help save the planet. Who would be so callously selfish as to protest against that?

When Man's path circumvents the First Table- The commandments that state 'I am the Lord your God' to 'You shall have no other gods before me' to 'You shall not bow down to them or serve them' to 'Honor your father and mother'- The Second Table's commands- 'You shall not murder, commit adultery, steal, lie, covet'- devolve into moralisms. Moralistic law not derived from absolutes are easily moldable to keep up with the enlightened, pragmatic 'scientific' fads of the times. Forced euthanasia could soon become as common and acceptable as present day abortions. Social Security will be saved.

Without the First Table, Man's actual guilt before God devolves into an impotent angst. To assuage these feelings, modern American Man is rendered incapable of seeking removal of them according to God's ordained plan, but chooses to seek salvation elsewhere. In our case the saviors become those more highly educated, those purported to be scientific experts, and government officials. Man becomes easily manipulated and directed, even made to feel more guilty, becoming sheep being led to slaughter. It is not difficult to see how closely 'The Jewish Problem' and 'The Social Security Problem' have similar solutions.

Grandpa shipped out to open sea as a sacrifice for the children. (An old dignified Eskimo custom) He will also provide a last supper for the polar bears that he helped to doom.

Madmen in authority,
Who hear voices in the air,
Are distilling their frenzy
From some academic scribbler of a few years back.

- Adapted from a quote by John Maynard Keynes
(Ironically, both a madman in authority and an academic scribbler of a few years back.)