If you love to listen to the Please Convince Me podcast, as I do, then you know that in a recent episode, J. Warner Wallace mentioned a blog post on an atheistic blog that clearly delineated the implications of an atheistic worldview. He promised he was going to write about it and link to the post, and he has now done so.
The latest episode of Reasonable Faith discusses the post mentioned in the episode.
An atheist blogger gets brutally honest about his view and tells other atheists to quit fooling themselves!
The MP3 file is here on the Reasonable Faith web site. (23 minutes)
Kevin Harris (KH) and William Lane Craig: (WLC) discuss this post on the Wintery Knight blog.
- KH: New Atheists always try to portray themselves as having meaningful lives, and good without God
- WLC: Exactly, they would say you don’t nee God to do positive things, so God makes no difference
- KH: but what happens when an atheist explains the real consequences of atheism?
KH then reads a quote by an atheist blogger:
“[To] all my Atheist friends.
Let us stop sugar coating it. I know, it’s hard to come out and be blunt with the friendly Theists who frequent sites like this. However in your efforts to “play nice” and “be civil” you actually do them a great disservice.
We are Atheists. We believe that the Universe is a great uncaused, random accident. All life in the Universe past and future are the results of random chance acting on itself. While we acknowledge concepts like morality, politeness, civility seem to exist, we know they do not. Our highly evolved brains imagine that these things have a cause or a use, and they have in the past, they’ve allowed life to continue on this planet for a short blip of time. But make no mistake: all our dreams, loves, opinions, and desires are figments of our primordial imagination. They are fleeting electrical signals that fire across our synapses for a moment in time. They served some purpose in the past. They got us here. That’s it. All human achievement and plans for the future are the result of some ancient, evolved brain and accompanying chemical reactions that once served a survival purpose. Ex: I’ll marry and nurture children because my genes demand reproduction, I’ll create because creativity served a survival advantage to my ancient ape ancestors, I’ll build cities and laws because this allowed my ape grandfather time and peace to reproduce and protect his genes. My only directive is to obey my genes. Eat, sleep, reproduce, die. That is our bible.
We deride the Theists for having created myths and holy books. We imagine ourselves superior. But we too imagine there are reasons to obey laws, be polite, protect the weak etc. Rubbish. We are nurturing a new religion, one where we imagine that such conventions have any basis in reality. Have they allowed life to exist? Absolutely. But who cares? Outside of my greedy little gene’s need to reproduce, there is nothing in my world that stops me from killing you and reproducing with your wife. Only the fear that I might be incarcerated and thus be deprived of the opportunity to do the same with the next guy’s wife stops me. Some of my Atheist friends have fooled themselves into acting like the general population. They live in suburban homes, drive Toyota Camrys, attend school plays. But underneath they know the truth. They are a bag of DNA whose only purpose is to make more of themselves. So be nice if you want. Be involved, have polite conversations, be a model citizen. Just be aware that while technically an Atheist, you are an inferior one. You’re just a little bit less evolved, that’s all. When you are ready to join me, let me know, I’ll be reproducing with your wife.
I know it’s not PC to speak so bluntly about the ramifications of our beliefs, but in our discussions with Theists we sometimes tip toe around what we really know to be factual. Maybe it’s time we Atheists were a little more truthful and let the chips fall where they may. At least that’s what my genes are telling me to say.”
Back to the summary:
- WLC: this quote explains that on naturalism, moral values and duties are just the by products of biological evolution
- WLC: he is deriding other atheists who put on a civil facade, and that the superior atheist is the one who acts openly like an atheist
- KH: he wants atheists to stop acting like Christians (being outwardly nice)
- WLC: there is no evidence for atheism presented in the quote, so why should he think that morality and meaning are illusory
- WLC: he is saying that morality is not real because our beliefs form by Darwinian evolution
- WLC: even if those beliefs formed that way, that doesn’t mean that our moral judgments are not true (genetic fallacy)
- KH: the moral judgments are only false if naturalism is true, and he didn’t defend that
- WLC: if objective moral values and duties exist, then naturalism is false
KH quotes Richard Dawkins:
In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, or any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference… DNA neither knows nor cares. DNA just is. And we dance to its music.
- WLC: yes, that’s his view, but what reason is there to accept the naturalism that requires all that?
- KH: yet he pushes various moral judgments
- WLC: yes, in his book, he pushes a bunch of moral judgments in his book, all of which are invalid on naturalism?
- KH: he wants humans to choose to show pity, even though nature is pitiless
- WLC: he thinks that these altruistic behaviors can emerge because humans are sociable beings
- WLC: but this “herd morality” is just an evolved convention, there are not objective moral truths
KH quotes Will Provine:
Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear — and these are basically Darwin’s views. There are no gods, no purposes, and no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be dead. That’s the end of me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life, and no free will for humans, either.
- WLC: it’s his naturalism that is causing him to say that, theistic evolution is compatible with morality
- WLC: naturalism is what conflicts with objective morality, science doesn’t invalidate objective morality
- KH: atheists deny objective meaning, but atheists can invent subjective meanings and purposes
- WLC: yes, but these invented subjective meanings and purposes are illusory
- WLC: I don’t think that anyone can live happily by think
KH quotes Michael Ruse:
“The position of the modern evolutionist is that humans have an awareness of morality because such an awareness of biological worth. Morality is a biological adaptation no less than are hands and feet and teeth. Considered as a rationally justifiable set of claims about an objective something, ethics is illusory. I appreciate when someone says, ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself,’ they think they are referring above and beyond themselves. Nevertheless, such reference is truly without foundation. Morality is just an aid to survival and reproduction, . . . and any deeper meaning is illusory.”
- WLC: again, science is neutral against morality, it’s the philosophy of naturalism that is inconsistent with objective morality
- KH: just because theists and atheists get along, it’s still important to remind atheists of the consequences of their view
- WLC: I do that in my work on the absurdity of life without God, and in the moral argument for God’s existence
- WLC: I love it when they say things like this, because it supports the first premise in Craig’s moral argument
- KH: even if the evidence were 50-50, why would atheists lean towards the meaningless view
- WLC: yes, if the evidence is 50-50, then people ought to prefer life, significance and moral value
- KH: you’re not saying that people ought to the believe that in theism because it’s more palatable to us
- WLC: right, I am saying that naturalism should be rejected on the evidence, including our experience of moral values