Thursday, April 21, 2011
TBM Email Part 2
Wherein I state my presumptuous opinion on this crazy guy's email.
This no longer has much to do directly with Christian morality but I’ll continue my dissection of an email to a friend from a ‘former(?) friend’. I had last replied to his comments on morality within atheism, and truly it deserves more of a reply, but I get tired trying to explain why atheists can still be moral and I’ve written about that or related topics all over my blog. Plus in reading ahead he will bring up morality again and again so we'll be dealing with it several times.
This is not an email sent to me, but to a friend. The format is I write what he wrote, and then reply. I am only taking out parts of the email and trying to keep both person's identities secret. Please understand that I don't intent for him to read this at any time. This whole process has been for me, and on some levels has made me realize a few things about my own arguments. I'll post this in parts and hopefully have things to say here and there in between, but as of now, here's part 2!!!
“Have you considered the historical record of atheism?” – Oh great, wonderful way to start off right?
“It is not a coincidence that the most murderous, barbaric regimes of the 20th century were all atheist. Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Deng, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Mengistu.....” – Okay. And my first retort, ‘and religion has a long history of being peaceful?’ Besides the fact that religions generally are organized based on combining a new brotherhood to wage holy war against the ‘others’ and nonbelievers. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all had separating factors at their birth, stating how they were better, and that God would (eventually) crush their enemies, leaving the texts a little open as to if the members should actually do the crushing or not.
Lenin seems to have been an atheist. Stalin actually went back and forth and on his bad days believed in God. Hitler not only used religion, namely Christianity, but he even wrote in his journals as late as WWII about his beliefs in God. He was crazy, not atheist, and I don’t wish to say that he was a Christian either. Mao was an atheist. Deng seems to have been similar to Hitler – he may have had atheistic comments about God but also had very theistic comments about believing in Heaven and being guided by supernatural and holy means. Like Hitler, he was probably crazy. Pol Pot was probably an atheist, Idi Amin seems to have been a racist Muslim, and I can’t find anything on Mengistu’s supposed atheism except on Conservapedia and other Christian sites.
(On a side note, did you know that a lot of ‘death bed’ conversion stories of famous historical people can be traced back only to Christian sites denouncing the religion of atheism? It would seem our liars for Jesus could be at work again with some of these people.)
And so with this, why does it matter that they were atheist? Hitler hated Jews due to his bad logic, Idi seems to have been one of the most racist men ever alive, Stalin and these two may have actually all believed in a specific God through most of their lives. Deng should be included as well. At least half this list were not truly atheists, at best agnostics, maybe agnosticism leads to violence, right! To quote one site, “If atheism is frequently but a reaction against human abuse by religion, then in itself such disbelief may not be the cause of malfeasance."
“Have you considered the link between pride and atheism?” – This is just to prepare you.
“To declare atheism is to maintain that by one's own intellect one has explained every single muon, tachyon, and photon in the entire multiverse. Is this not hubris? By what basis do we have to believe that man/woman, who has existed on earth for some 40000 years, and in 'civilization' for but 5000; man/woman, who lives for about 80 years on this earth; what basis do we have to trust our intellect and 'reason' as the final basis for reality? This is to make the fatal assumption that human reason is all powerful.” – This is irrefutable. Okay, nvm, it’s not. First, I don’t claim to be able to explain every single muon, tachyon, photon, neutron, electron, or even the Tron movie but I also don’t see how this matters! Unless you believe God has to be the answer for every unexplained thing, action, or occurrence, and then it’s just a God of the gaps argument. What a stupid argument. Since when does the average atheist claim, “there is no God and I can explain string theory and that supports my claim! Suck it!” Maybe that last part, but I’ve never heard an atheist say that ‘because of gravity, therefore, no God.’
He seems to have forgotten his point in the middle, and gotten his facts wrong. We have not changed in any significant ways except to support a cooking diet, for almost 250,000 years. And our brains haven’t really changed at all. I guess I would also need to know his definition of ‘civilization’ because we’ve had farming communities for roughly 10,000 years and before that roaming nomad communities for much longer. Writing also would be older than 5000 years, I’m not sure why he uses these numbers. Also, it’s a pretty recent development in our history for the average person to live to be 80, and this is still not the case in parts of the world. So really I help him by saying that half the earth’s population (in history) never got past infancy, and fewer got past 30.
Lastly, on this, how does atheism claim omniscience and omnipotence? Being that he’s religious and would probably use the terms to describe an ‘’all-powerful’’ God and that he just applied that phrase to atheism … I think he’s just talking out of his ass by this point. This paragraph was not thought out very well.
“You have said you read and prayed about the Book of Mormon, and have not felt anything at all, and thus you conclude there is no God. … Is it then perhaps reasonable, for one as intelligent and so capable as yourself, to have to read the Book of Mormon more, or continue to pray and humbly wait upon God for an answer in His time? … The promise is that if we humble ourselves, sincerely study and pray, then we will be answered and we will know.” – Probably one of the most bigoted statements I ever hear from TBMs. I also do not think the atheist friend ever claimed that they stopped believing simply because their prayers were never answered, including the heartfelt sobbing ones late at night. My issue with Moroni’s promise is that it doesn’t leave any room to be wrong. Basically if you don’t get an answer it is your fault due to sin or pride. And if Moroni is wrong then he can never be called out on it. Also, the question doesn’t leave room for error, the answer you’ll get, according to the scripture, is that God is real and Mormonism is true. There is no room for ‘God said it wasn’t true’ or ‘I didn’t get an answer.’ Obviously, according to this guy here, you could live to 25 and still not have an answer, and it’s probably because you are prideful. Obviously he thinks his friend is prideful for leaving Mormonism behind and for not receiving answers to her prayers.
That will be it for this post. The epic ending of the email will come up next time, as well as some of our atheist friend’s replies. Of course, there is a second email as well ... which truly saves the best for last. This will only get better.