I normally don't get involved in these tussles, but with the vicious neo-Stalinism we've seen on the left in response to California's Proposition 8 and the Warren invocation (and that's just for starters), it's pretty clear that the hordes have swept over the windswept passes of the barbarian steppes and folks of good standing need to stand a post and do battle in defense of eternal goodness and right.
What got me going on this is Mark Thompson's crudely pedestrian essay, "Falsifying the Unfalsifiable," over at the Ordinary Gentlemen.
Readers may recall that Mark is the publisher of Publius Endures. Once a staunch libertarian, Mark has sold out to the Obamessianism that has engulfed the land following "our national holiday from reason that was the Obama presidential inauguration" (to quote myself). In one of the strangest introductions to a blog post I've ever seen, Mark cites Homer Simpson - that's right, that Homer Simpson - as an authority on the ontology of religious faith and evangelical trust, arguing that the Simpson's get right to "the crux of the problem." And to think, Robert Stacy McCain generously called these guys "intellectuals." Go figure?
In any case, here's a key snippet of the point that Mark is trying to elaborate (and elaborate ... frankly, ad nauseum, at least 25 times at the piece):
For the religious person, there is simply no way to prove through science that god exists or does not exist - as long as there is something in the universe that cannot rationally be explained, there is a basis for trusting in the existence of god. For the atheist, there is likewise simply no way to prove through science that god exists or does not exist - as long as a scientific or rational explanation for anything in the universe is theoretically possible, there is a basis to trust in the ability of reason to explain everything, and no basis to trust in the existence of god.I think Mark wants to say "there is no basis for trusting in the existence of God" in the first paragraph, but if it's not clear in the passage cited, we've got redundancies galore at the post to confirm the point.
And this is why I think Chris - and E.D. - are absolutely correct in stating that the proper response to the question of the existence of god is “Who Cares?” The existence of god simply cannot be proven or disproven through pure reason, and neither side does themselves any favors when they insist otherwise.
And this is why I'm spending time to correct Mark, and, frankly, to reveal him even further as the rank nihilist that he is.
I'm still figuring out where Mark and his gang are coming from, but they certainly aren't conservative, despite the circle-jerk exclamations for Culture 11 found repeatedly at the blog. Think about this in the context of this essay from the Calgary Herald, "At Least Atheists Got Mentioned":
People appear very keen for a lot of things to change on the Obama watch. One of those hopes is that Christianity would revert more to a private choice rather than the state religion it often appeared to be under George W. Bush.Now before I debunk this slimy palaver, I just came across Troy Anderson denouncing those of faith who respond to such bunk as "Christian apologists."
Really, Christian apologists?
So we've got those on the left hip to the "Age of Obama" who are looking to see Christianity revert to a "private choice" rather than a "state religion"? And those who debate in favor of the existence of God are "Christian apologists"?
Sometimes I doubt this is the same United States of America where I grew up?
When Mark Thompson slops out such intelletually deadening prose as " the lunacy of religion attempting to masquerade as science," I'm frankly at a loss at the metaphysical methodology of the enterprise.
The fact remains, and it has thus been, that there is no epistemological basis for asserting religion as science in the first place. It's a sickly straw man to posit intelligent design as threatening nearly fifty years of post-Engel secularism in U.S. constitutional jurisprudence. If we see science as the scholarly generation of explanatory theory based on logically derived predictions based on observable phenonomen, it makes little sense to suggest religion is "masquerading as science." There is no data with which to subject the claim that "God exists" to falsification. Sure, we can debate the scientific legitimacy of the Gospels, but to find proof for the verity of the divine is nonsense. Perhaps Mark Thompson can clarify the point in a future post, but thus far he's been too busy playing ring around the rosie with Freddie and the rest of this nihilist gang.
The larger question in any case is the problem of Judeo-Christian ethics. When Christopher Hitchens argued early this decade for the morality of regime change Iraq, it's unlikely he was drawing on any other well of fundamental right outside of the Biblical narrative of Mosaic universality.
It is, of course, precisely this Western Judeo-Christian heritage that the progressive left seeks to destroy. Andrew Sullivan is no conservative when he promotes a gay radical licentiousness that knows no moral boundaries. Thus, the solution: just rebrand the model in your own image and label adherents to classic teachings as "Christianists." I mean really, Mark Thompson cites E.D Kain as suggesting "who cares"?
Well, excuse me, but damn! I'd think we all would. The West is best. QED.
I'll have more on this later, so I'll close with Licia Corbella's rebuttal to the privileging of atheism over religion in the public square:
The atheist ethic has killed more people than any religion by a staggering margin. Fascism, Nazism and Communism have murdered many tens of millions of people. Think of the former Soviet Union, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Nazis, Communist China etc. Mao Zedong's regime alone murdered 70 million countrymen. Stalin, 20 million. Their successors millions more. To this day, Falun Gong and Christians are jailed in China and then killed to harvest their organs.
It's no coincidence the freest, most prosperous nations in the world are virtually all Christian-based, not atheist or even Muslim, Buddhist or Hindu. As the Bible says: "Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."
With the exception of Japan, which had its democratic system imposed on it by the U. S. after the Second World War, and Israel, which is Jewish, no non-Christian country is truly free.
Atheists make up a very small minority of the "believers" in our society and yet it is their religion that is constantly being rammed down the throats of the majority.
They better be careful what they wish for. So should all people who love freedom, regardless of what they believe.