Friday, March 04, 2005

Who Killed Atheism?

This article is presented by the Washington Times as a piece of news reporting, but it is so horribly slanted that it really qualifies as an editorial. (It is also proof that the conservatives are willing to commit the same journalistic crimes as the liberal mainstream press.) But it is indisputable that atheism is losing influence today, and this article does touch (though inaccurately) on the real cause: atheism was killed by the atheists.

The greatest enemy of secularism has been the pseudo-secularism of the Marxists and the moral nihilism of the secular subjectivists who gleefully declared that "If God is dead all things are permitted." These philosophies answer the irrationalism of religion with new variants of irrationalism, and they answer religion's worship of sacrifice and death with new versions of the worship of sacrifice and death.

But this does not mean that religion is strong. Notice that the theologians quoted in this article say that the best hope for religion is that it can provide a basis for "truth and freedom." But religion, by its very nature as an otherworldly philosophy, has no such foundation to offer. That can only be provided by the truly secular, atheistic philosophy of Objectivism—which will be the real beneficiary, in the long term, of the collapse of modern pseudo-secularism.

"Science, 'Frauds' Trigger a Decline in Atheism," Uwe Siemon-Netto, UPI via Washington Times, 3/4/05

"Godlessness is in trouble, according to a growing consensus among philosophers, intellectuals and scholars. 'Atheism as a theoretical position is in decline worldwide,' Munich theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg said in an interview.... British philosopher Anthony Flew, once as hard-nosed a humanist as any, has turned his back on atheism, saying it is impossible for evolution to account for the fact that one single cell can carry more data than all the volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica. Mr. Flew still does not accept the God of the Bible. But he has embraced the concept of intelligent design—a stunning desertion of a former intellectual ambassador of secular humanism to the belief in some form of intelligence behind the design of the universe....

"Atheism's other Achilles' heels are the acts on inhumanity and lunacy committed in its name. 'With time, [atheism] turned out to have just as many frauds, psychopaths, and careerists as religion does.... With Stalin and Madalyn Murray O'Hair, atheism seems to have ended up mimicking the vices of the Spanish Inquisition and the worst televangelists, respectively,' Mr. McGrath wrote in Christianity Today.... Mr. Zulehner cautioned, however, that the decline of atheism in Europe does not mean that re-Christianization is taking place. 'What we are observing instead is a re-paganization,' he said.... 'The rise of all sorts of paganism is creating a false spirituality that proves to be a more dangerous rival to the Christian faith than atheism,' [Rev. Gerald McDermott] said....

"Mr. Zulehner, a Catholic, sees Christianity's greatest opportunity when its message addresses two seemingly irreconcilable quests of contemporary humanity—the quest for freedom and truth. 'Christianity alone affirms that truth and God's dependability are inseparable properties to which freedom is linked.' "