Yesterday, a friend posted a link on facebook with the quotation: “There's a schism in the world of atheism. New atheists — led by Richard Dawkins — insist that religion is stupid and dangerous. The old guard may not believe in God but are willing to work with religious liberals on shared goals.”
This spawned a debate, which of course, rapidly regressed into an idiotic comparison between Moses and Hitler. Godwin’s Law. I started to respond, but then I decided, with the amount of work I was putting into this, that I might as well make it a bona fide blog entry. So here goes:
I usually like to note that there is a difference between atheism and anti-theism. Atheism is just not theism, just like asexual is not sexual, or asymmetrical is not symmetrical. You don't see amoebae protesting sex, and you don't see oddly-shaped polygons boycotting squares. Not often anyway.
Dawkins’ brand of atheism seems to be anti-theism. I will never understand why any sane atheist would bother engaging in a head-on debate with a theist, or a creationist. It’s like telling a dog to stop thinking about food. That dog is going to go on thinking about food as if it’s somehow going to get food as a reward for staring at you until you get blue in the face, and give up talking. Believers in “the good book” don’t hear logic, just like most dog don’t hear most English. Their minds don’t work that way.
I’m with the school of atheism that sees theism as a mental illness that will sort itself out over time. Sooner or later, people are just going to give up on religion entirely. Because the truth is, it is stupid. It doesn’t take very long to figure out that you can’t depend on the bible for anything. Its argument collapses because of its own incoherence and inconsistency. Allow me to illustrate:
According to bible scholar Dr. Reuben Alcalay, the exact Hebrew wording of Exodus 20:13 is lo tirtzack, which actually translates to "no killing of any kind of whatsoever." In other words, forget about that rule about only killing kosher, or not eating pork – you can’t kill anything. You can’t swat flies. Now that we know about microscopic germs, we can’t scratch either.
Exodus 31:15 says: kill people who work on the Sabbath. The Sabbath, by the way, is Friday for Muslims, Saturday for Jews, and Sunday for Christians. Guess what? If we were to put just this rule to the test, there would be no one left. (Unless, of course, we advocate a 3-day week-end, which frankly, would be kinda cool.)
Of course, you’ll astutely notice that this really only attacks the Torah, or the “old testament,” which Christians love to excuse with the junk expression: “Well, that’s the old testament. When Jesus came along, he absolved us of that.” Did he really? Where in the bible, pray tell, does it say that? They don’t have an answer for this of course, because they’re full of shit, and they’re obviously making it up as they go along.
Okay, I’ll be fair. After much scouring, there may be something in Acts 13:39. I’m not convinced this means that Christians no longer have to obey the laws of Moses, particularly the Ten Commandments. That seems counterintuitive.
It’s late, and I think I’ve strayed from my original point – so I’m actually going to end this rant on that weak note. Consider it an invitation to perhaps enlighten me as to how none of the logic issues I’ve raised are a problem. I doubt it, but you’re welcome to try.