Granted, sometimes certain atheists speak and write in derogatory terms about the thinking ability of religious believers that may seem at first blush to have gone too far. But now I am thinking that atheists as a whole may not have gone far enough in their criticisms. To whit…
From the Sydney Morning Herald comes this article from which I have taken excerpts and added bold face:
Several church leaders have used their Easter sermons and messages to condemn the increase in atheism, with Sydney Anglican Archbishop Peter Jensen on Friday describing non-belief as an “assault on God.”
The problem here is how can one assault something that does not exist? Dismissal does not have the same meaning as assault. Atheists dismiss notions of god as empty assertions. By twisting this dismissal by atheists of a central tenet of religious belief to mean the same thing as assault of that central tenet, Jensen has intentionally not only misrepresented atheism but applied a hostility to non belief as a necessary condition. The thinking here by Jensen is dishonest and dangerous and serves only to vilify atheists. As an atheist, I am having difficulty feeling the love.
“Atheism is every bit of a religious commitment as Christianity itself.
No. It is not. Atheism is non belief. Period. End of description. Different term altogether. The absence of belief is not another form of belief… hence the different words. It’s a give-away that we’re talking about two different things. But if non belief was, in fact, belief, then guanocephalic Jensen would be a believer in thousands of beliefs he does not hold. And because he doesn’t hold them, by his own admission he would be hostile to all of them and guilty of assaulting every central tenet of beliefs he does not share.
Maybe even he could appreciate why his assertion here is such sheer nonsense. But failing that – and I suspect he would fail to follow his own line of thinking – I suspect Jensen’s lobotomy must have gone too far into his cerebral cortex, and thus turned his ability to follow his own reasoning into a mushy goop that produces this kind of intolerant drivel. Because that describes what his line of thinking here is: drivel.
But wait: there’s more.
It (atheism) represents the latest version of the human assault on God, born out of resentment that we do not in fact rule the world and that God calls on us to submit our lives to him.”
And what might the ‘earlier’ version be? Giving women the vote? Freeing the slaves? Not stoning to death disobedient children? Oh, the humanity! Oh, the loss of virtuous morality sanctified by Jensen’s god!
Dr Jensen went on to say in his sermon that religion can be an “even more dangerous” form of idolatry than atheism if incorrectly interpreted.
And the correct interpretation is…?
Oh, that’s right: competing religious truth claims are simply a matter of establishing which interpretation is the correct one. But because truth does not matter to those who hold religious beliefs but only faith does, then figuring out whether the mystic elephant or Isis or Jesus is god incarnate really boils down to a matter of correct interpretation. We should have known!
What a load of lies Jensen is spewing. He has no more seriously interpreted Gilgamesh as a possible true god any more than he has seriously considered the theocratic truth available through the correct interpretation of the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Jensen rejects all these beliefs as false and did so long before he decided to spout his nonsense regarding correct interpretation. This makes Jensen a liar, but he has the temerity to accuse those who do not believe nor worship in any god at all as a terrible danger because non belief apparently promotes worship of something other than any god. Better to worship Muk Muk of the Volcano who feeds on virgins to stay dormant than dare not to believe in Muk Muk at all, according to Jensen; non belief is too idolatrous in comparison!
This assertion of idolatry against atheists is incoherent, to say the least, and is an assault against rationality.
What do you think? Was the lobotomy performed by a blender, a large bore drill bit, or perhaps a fence post digger? I’m leaning towards the blender.
“Here, too, religion can simply be the power game under a different guise … Atheist or religious person – we all need to be reconciled to God and give him our lives,” he added.
Even if one is an atheist, Jensen thinks that one must avoid the abuse of power that accompanies idolatry by giving our lives to something we honestly think does not exist… like Muk Muk and his unfailing appetite for human sacrifice. There’s a solid bit of convincing.
Is it just me, or has Jensen lost the ability to reason altogether? Can religious belief really screw this much with your mind or must there be some biologically explainable deficit? I think it’s brain damage, myself.
And as for the people who grant this man’s pronouncements with any serious respect at all? Maybe it’s time these folk decided to be re-baptized… along with their favorite plugged in electrical appliance in hand.