Empty intellectuals

If the decline of Christianity created the modern political zealot – and his crimes – so the evaporation of religious faith among the educated left a vaccuum in the minds of Western intellectuals easily filled by secular superstition. There is no other answer for the credulity with which scientists, accustomed to evaluating evidence, and writers, whose whole function was to study and criticize society, accepted the crudest Stalinist propaganda at its face value. They needed to believe; they wanted to be duped.
– Paul Johnson, “Modern Times” p. 275

Thinking, educated atheists are aware that the essence of being educated did not spring, fully developed, from John Dewey’s head in the 1920s, although many of their more thoughtless fellows seem to think so. Not only were most educated men religious, but the very university system that educated them was an overtly Christian one, as was the hospital system. In fact, I doubt there was even much of a hospital concept in other religious cultures, not even the Chinese appear to have developed one.

Furthermore, if one judges secular society by its fruits, one has to harbor some serious reserves about its viability, let alone superiority, regardless of whether one examines education, the state of science, the arts or anything but technological progress which, it must be admitted, tends to be cumulative and therefore disqualified as a means of comparison.

I have no personal problem with atheists and agnostics; I can still remember being one of the latter myself. I do, however, take serious exception to those who would assume that the intellectual high ground belongs, by definition, to them. CS Lewis called them men without chests, I see them as lightweights. If one considers the ease with which a non-academic like me has shredded the flimsy arguments of a Singer, a Dawkins or a Harris – and no one has disputed that I have already done so at least once with each of them – then one has to wonder how bad it has gotten if they are supposed to be among the best these godless “brights” can offer.

I mean, if even the New York Times reviewer can see the nihilism inherent in Dawkins’ godlessness, it’s got to be pretty obvious. I can tell you why my morality supercedes yours and from whence it comes… I’ve yet to hear an atheist even begin to attempt seriously addressing either. Well, Harris tries, I suppose, but his attempts are more accurately characterized as “risible”, they don’t even manage to rise to the level of “feeble”.

(And no, the assertion that a man-invented morality based on nothing supercedes a morality based on a man-invented sky deity will not suffice. That manages equality, nothing more.)