Carol Platt Liebau: American Atheism

Monday, July 16, 2007

American Atheism

Peter Berkowitz takes the philsophy of the "new new atheists" and puts it to shame, focusing in particular on Christopher Hitchens (Dr. Mark Roberts did the same on a special edition of "The Hugh Hewitt Show", transcript here).

On a much less lofty level, what's always confused me about atheists is their outright hostility toward religion and people of faith. At least when it comes to American atheists, no one is trying to force them to believe -- so why all the antagonism? After all, there are a lot of people who go over the top with a belief system with which I heartily disagree, but I lack the animus toward it that would prompt me to mock or belittle either the faith itself or those who cherish it. If belief in God is nothing but a delusion, why should they care about those who harbor it -- any more than they would take time out of their lives to write books claiming to disprove the myths of Bigfoot or the Loch Ness monster?

Ultimately, as Berkowitz points out, those who denigrate the influence of religion discount too easily the fundamental beliefs -- like the inherent equality of all mankind -- that spring from it. As Stephen Mansfield points out in USA Today, that's a truth that the Founding Fathers knew, one that we've allowed our courts to undermine and even erode.

As John Adams noted:

We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . . Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

What the atheists never explain is how we would arrive at common moral consensus, or even keep order without the heavy hand of an oppressive government, if our only moral signposts were what "seemed" to each of us to be right.

2 Comments:

Blogger One Salient Oversight said...

As a "person of faith" myself I can nevertheless understand some of the hostility against religious faith by these people.

For starters, the 9/11 terrorists were religious fanatics.

Then, based upon zero evidence, America's religious president, backed completely by American's religious people, invaded Iraq and caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.

At this point in history, atheists seem to be the peaceful ones.

Which is a pity, since the Jesus that I worship as God is the King of Peace.

6:23 PM  
Blogger stackja1945 said...

Carol said "What the atheists never explain is how we would arrive at common moral consensus, or even keep order without the heavy hand of an oppressive government, if our only moral signposts were what "seemed" to each of us to be right."

Carol, God alone knows the answer.

6:56 PM  

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