Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Conrad Black: A Reply to my Atheist Critics — They Protest too Much


It is fairly simple really.  There are those who accept that GOD exists and are comfortable with all that.  Then we have those attempting to reject that.  Everything else on the subject is usually an exercise in human manipulation.

What we do know and can now show experimentally is that Dark Matter physically exists and separately that the spirit formed from Dark Matter operates our physical existence as biological entities.  Then extrapolating from natural logic we can go a huge step further and observe that the Soul is the perfect pattern of our spirit body and by extension of our own physical body.  In fact that is how cognition itself comes about.  It is a matter of choices alone.

Just as naturally this principal extends to the whole universe and our own Earth.  The weakness though is that GOD representing ALL can only be plausibly expressed locally.  Thus our very human ideas of power and their like become useless.  All expression must then be guidance alone but from a perspective we are challenged to grasp.  Worse the pathway can be corrupted as well and must be guarded against.

All this has nothing to do with faith.  Denying GOD is silly and meaningless.  What it tells me is that you are not listening and have chosen to live in ignorance.  That unfortunately is also shared by most so called believers as well.  It is a choice.  I have no evidence to suggest that it is a good one and in fact have strong contra indications..

Conrad Black: A reply to my atheist critics — they protest too much

Allison Shelley/Getty ImagesThe atheists’ domination of our centres of learning and information is a great vulnerability in the West.

Conrad Black | March 28, 2015 | Last Updated: Mar 28 6:00 AM ET

Not since I have written about cats and dogs has a column of mine in this newspaper stirred such a voluminous and highly charged response as my reflections here last week on John Lennox’s success in debates, as a scientific Christian, with the most articulate and learned atheists on the anti-God debating circuit. These exchanges have become almost an itinerant counter-ministry of the media and academia throughout the Western world.

Most messages I have received have been favourable, but the tenor of the unfavourable messages the newspaper and I have received is so generally vitriolic, and often abusive and bigoted, that they incite my return to the subject. Obviously, if I had any problem with people taking exception to what I write, I wouldn’t write for publication, and as I have probably been more severely and lengthily defamed than anyone in Canada since Louis Riel (where the calumniators often had truth as a partial defence), I am not bothered by it. None of the abuse was noteworthy and there were only three cyber-assailants who were so unrelievedly uncivil that I asked my IT adviser to ensure that I never received anything from their addresses again.

To refresh memories, I referred last week to the hyperactive atheist zealots who, in Richard Dawkins’s words, declare that “the very idea that we get a moral compass from religion is horrible.” I wrote that societies uninfluenced by serious considerations of a divine intelligence do not have as advanced and institutionalized notions of ethics, equity and impartial justice as those that have been; that the atheist militants generally refuse to admit atheism, too, is a faith; that they can’t really dispute the existence of spiritual forces in the world, other than by consigning them to the hitherto unknown, or the conjurations of hysterics, the delusional, and charlatans.

I wrote that the atheist advocates still sidle up to the shopworn theory that science will lead us all to a state of total knowledge and self-knowledge, and that the theists are in fearful flight from the oncoming juggernaut of knowledge; and that many atheists claim that evolution puts all God theories on the skids. I referred only summarily to the usual and generally rather overworked operatics of the atheists in mocking religious practices and prominent individual clergy and in sprinkling acidulous reflections on the entire history of Christianity, in particular.

The forces of history are claimed to be rolling inexorably toward the 100% triumph of righteous reason and science, and the disappearance of all traces of religiosity and theology, apparently after an intellectual assault equivalent to the U.S, Marines’ final destruction of the defenders of Iwo Jima by incineration from flame-throwers. Because of the shortcomings of all these lines of attack, I recorded that the most capable and learned advocates of the existence of a divine intelligence in the universe generally prevailed in these debates, although neither side could prove its case. I did not write anything of my own religious beliefs.

Of course, I expected to arouse a hornets’ nest among the atheist determinists who always seem personally affronted and threatened by any suggestion that a sane and passably intelligent person could believe one scintilla of any theory that conceded that religious faith and belief are logically defensible. In the letters section of the National Post, I was accused of being addicted to a fantasy that “there is a Juju in the sky who created our universe,” and that all atheists “lack moral and ethical principles.” I was taxed with misrepresenting Charles Darwin as a Christian: he was at times in his life, and to a full age, like many people whose religious views evolve.

It became overwhelmingly fashionable in the last 50 years to debunk religiosity as stupid, irrelevant and wilfully ignorant

I was accused of using the absurd conduct and claims of some atheists as proof of God’s existence, and was subjected by direct correspondents to the unutterably irritating sophistry that as Christians are claiming the existence of God, they have to prove it, and that therefore atheists win the argument automatically because God’s existence cannot be objectively and demonstrably proved. I did write that the advocates of God’s existence (and mentioned Thomas Aquinas and Cardinal Newman, as well as Prof. Lennox) made a better argument for the balance of probabilities on their side than the atheists did on theirs. All three sources were rather cavalierly dismissed by some readers, who clearly (and to say the least) are not their peers. All the other charges against me that I have listed were derived entirely from the disturbed imaginations of my more febrile atheist readers.

The important part of this exchange is the light it sheds on the contemporary atheist mind and the state of our society, where such belligerent enemies of important traditions in our civilization have arisen and seized control of almost all the media and academia. It became overwhelmingly fashionable in the last 50 years to debunk religiosity as stupid, irrelevant and wilfully ignorant. The particular bugbear was to portray the principal denomination, the Roman Catholic Church, as a coterie of septuagenarian celibates and closet queens scolding the world about their sex lives, as that institution staggered on creaking limbs and with failing sight to its long-appointed extinction, a hollow primitive fraud and retardant to the march of knowledge. These are familiar and even understandable opinions, but it is not easily understandable how people holding them got a stranglehold on the commanding heights of information and education.

The pertinent facts are that spiritual forces are abroad in the world and have widely been identified, even in such statements as Bismarck, whom Pope Pius IX described as “Attila in a helmet,” saying that “All a statesman can do is listen for God’s footfall and touch the hem of his garment as He passes.” Darwin referred to “the Creator” in the second edition of On the Origin of Species; Einstein, Napoleon, Shakespeare and Lincoln all believed in God, and most people believe that there is something beyond the material world we all know. It is not just or reasonable for the atheists endlessly to impute to the believing majority the motives of mass ignorance, the desperate striving of failed lives, the humdrum obtuseness of the bourgeoisie, or the pursuit of psychological security by the avariciously prosperous. Atheists cannot know, as they have not experienced, the expanded intuition that Richelieu, otherwise one of the greatest cynics in the history of Europe, and countless others have found in sincere religious meditation.

The Judeo-Christian message of conscientious behaviour has had an immense impact on Western civilization, and approximately 95% of the clergy of the Christian churches are decent people doing their best. The services of the Catholic Church in particular in conserving civilization through the Dark Ages, producing the Renaissance, and imparting literacy and pastoral and medical care to countless millions of the underprivileged for many centuries, vastly outweigh the damage done by religious intolerance and hypocrisy. We are all sinners and none of us gods. I have always believed that with religion, as with sex, people should inform themselves and decide their own preferences and precepts, be discreet about them, and respect the practices of others unless they are sociopathic or insane. That is what I do as a Christian and also as a former atheist and agnostic, familiar with their attractions also.

The atheists’ domination of our centres of learning and information is a great vulnerability in the West: it creates acute resentment and dissent among the more religiously tolerant majority, separates learning and information from the greatest pillar of our civilization’s historic development, invites contempt from violently sectarian societies, especially Islamists, and is repugnant to the entire concept of freedom of thought and expression that our universities and free press are supposed to be defending. This is why people like John Lennox, who flatten the marquee atheist tribunes at every encounter, perform such a valuable service. And it must also have something to do with the reaction, like that of roaring and wounded animals, of a distinct minority of my correspondents last week. If God were dead, they would not still be trying, very unconvincingly, to kill Him.

John Moore: The new atheist just doesn’t care

John Moore | March 26, 2015 | Last Updated: Mar 26 11:28 AM ET

In his Saturday column Conrad Black inveighed against “militant atheists.” He called them “shabby” and “shallow.” He attacked their “gratuitous disparagements of Christianity.” I’m not sure who set Black off this time. To be sure there is a species of self satisfied nose-tweakers on the atheist lecture and debating circuit but frankly militant atheism is just so passé. The fastest growing religious identity in the world is the new atheist. We really just don’t care. 

Black and others have insisted non belief is a faith in and of itself. I can’t speak for all non believers but I have neither a holy book nor hymnal. I observe no special holidays and attend no services. My atheism is simply an absence of religion in my life. Outside of leaving me a few hours to myself on Sunday mornings this absence is not some kind of void that must be filled with something else.

The age of the “angry atheist” is past

It’s not that I didn’t try to be a believer. I was raised in the church. I taught Sunday school. I still have the Bible I was presented with at my confirmation. But it was seed cast upon stone because it never took. I passed time in church doing math tricks with the birth and death dates of the composers of the hymns. At the Easter vigil I fervently wished for the fire of faith but spent the hour listening to the clanking of the oil fired heating system instead.

I am a strange kind of atheist. I subscribe to Cardus. I cultivate friendships with religious leaders. If anything I am envious of those who have faith. But it’s not something you can fake and I’m not interested in whatever time and energy it might require to muster sufficient qualities of piety and devotion to be on the winning side of Pascal’s Wager.

I’m never sure why the faithful feel such compunction to challenge atheists. Yes, there are deliberate troublemakers who file law suits against civic crèches but mostly, the new atheism is a live and let live affair.

I’m never sure why the faithful feel such compunction to challenge atheists

If we do have issues with religion it stems from the fact that an awful lot of conflict and abuse in the world seems to be rooted in faith and sectarianism. We’re weary of head-shaving, penis-snipping, knife-carrying, face-covering, genital-mutilating, gay-shaming and pork-evading; practices sacred to some, superstitious to the rest. We’re at odds with the notion that because you are born to a certain set of parents you must refuse blood or chemotherapy, eschew technology, shame women, dispute evolution, hit yourself in the head with swords or shake sticks out of cans. 

We’re also dubious about the argument that religion makes one better. I know it makes some people better but the absence of faith is not some kind of character deficit. Indeed to insist as Black does that “without God, ‘good’ and ‘evil’ are just pallid formulations of like and dislike” is to argue that humans are too stupid to know that it’s wrong to kill or steal. It’s even arguable that there is greater character to living a moral life in the absence of the promise of divine reward or retribution. And certainly when people kill while shouting “God is great” it calls into question the moralizing force of faith. 

Black writes that intellectual Christians become more convinced of God’s existence with each remarkable new discovery of our universe’s sophisticated interconnectedness. The reverse applies for non believers. I recently learned there is a leukemia unique to children with Down’s Syndrome. Where is the divine hand in that?

In religion, politics and lifestyle it never seems enough to hold fast to what you believe; your world view must also be under vicious attack from rivals and bullies. I’m sure there are plenty of yobs and provocateurs who poke at the faithful like mosquitoes, but the age of the “angry atheist” is past.


new illuminati said...

Been watching you treat the fictitious dark energy as a panacaea to cure all ills in realms ranging from physical to psychic.
Unfortunately neither dark energy nor dark matter exist; they are mere vacuous props used to fill unfillable holes in outdated dogma.
The basis of universal interaction is plasma, not gravity. Inflation is an illusion and the entire Big Bang paradigm is the confabulation of a priest adopted by physicists long before they knew better. Anone keeping abreast of current data will know that the outworn cloak of yesterday's astrophysics can't stretch to cover the gaps in its credibility.
Before you dig a deeper hole please see - and see 'older posts' at the end of each section

arclein said...

first do master my two papers on Generalized cyclic functions and then cloud cosmology. i think you are up to it. with that it is possible to simulate dark matter and our physical universe.