Wednesday, December 1, 2010

GK Chesterton Describes the "New-Atheists" in 1925

"They cannot be Christians and they cannot leave off being Anti-Christians. Their whole atmosphere is the atmosphere of a reaction: sulks, perversity, petty criticism. They still live in the shadow of the faith and have lost the light of the faith."

17 comments:

Tony-Allen said...

The quote kind of reminds me of a story by Fulton Sheen, who had an atheist woman come in before mass and argue with people inside. He entered a discussion with her, and after pointing out the inconsistencies in her argument, she could offer no response other than screaming, "I hate you!!" Fulton Sheen then commented, "Atheism is not a doctrine - it is a cry of wrath."

bossmanham said...

I think that is a very good observation by Sheen. I'm not sure the motivation of so vociferously attacking a being you just don't believe exists. It's like shadow boxing.

zilch said...

While this may be true of some atheists, it cannot be generalized. I, for one, don't give a fig what anyone believes, as long as they don't try to force it on others. Unfortunately, some religious people do try to force their beliefs on others, for instance in the form of teaching their religion in public school science classes. That's what exercises me.

Sure, I love to argue about the existence of God too, but at the end of the day, I really don't care, and I'm perfectly willing to be friends with people who believe stuff I don't.

cheers from snowy Vienna, zilch

bossmanham said...

Yeah, Zilch, this is why you're a part of that ridiculous little forum, eh?

Tony-Allen said...

I think the problem with many of the more outspoken atheists today is they respond to one extreme with another. They respond to an imposition of religious belief in government (which incidentally I'm not entirely for in certain circumstances) by taking "freedom of religion" and seeking to change it to "freedom from religion," wishing to ban all religion. I freely believe, secularly speaking, in freedom of religion where the president could be a devout Christian and a random American citizen could be a devout Muslim and there would be no conflict between the two in regards to civil liberties. My only request is the ability, when told by someone "Christianity is wrong," to defend my faith and if necessary explain my own criticism or disagreements with the opposing viewpoint.

But, of course, I and differentiate between the apathetic atheists (like Frederick the Great apparently was) and aggressive atheists (like Christopher Hitchens).

zilch said...

Argumentum ad bloggiem, eh, boss? I expected better from you. Shall I retort that you hang out with that date-rape denier Beale, and consider that we're matched?

bossmanham said...

I hang out with him? I don't know Vox Day except for his blog. So you'd be lying if you did.

You do continually post over at that dumb forum and they are all about bashing Christians. So you can say what you want, but those actions, they speak louder than words.

thechemistscorner said...

Unfortunately, some religious people do try to force their beliefs on others, for instance in the form of teaching their religion in public school science classes.

The problem is that a secular education system steeped in humanism is no different, yet I don't here you railing against humanists for indoctrinating children. Why the double standard?

zilch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
zilch said...

boss- yes, I do post at wearesmrt. But if you read my comments there, you will find precious little Christian-bashing.

thechemist: the difference is that being taught the facts is not indoctrination; being taught Bronze Age myths is. If you can give me an example of humanist ethics being taught as the absolute truth, I'll agree with you heartily.

cheers from snowy Vienna, zilch

thechemistscorner said...

Well, first you might be conflating bare facts with the interpretation of facts. Not sure what you mean by "facts" in your comment, but I wouldn't be surprised. Second, I am not sure what you are wanting in the way of an example. It seems to me that teaching only humanism and humanistic explanations of the world is enough to sustain my point. So, you are fine with integrating religious explanations with the humanist version in public education?

As an aside, I am thinking more of things like values clarification vs. teaching individuals tehre are objective morals. In my opinion, this has profound implications for personal responsibility and not unraveling our social structure.

bossmanham said...

Zilch, you may be an exception to the rule over there, and you are usually quite charitable, but I find it hard to believe you don't want to convert Christians to atheism when you participate in that forum. I participate in discussions in different forums, such as here on my blog, because I do want people to convert to Christianity.

zilch said...

thechemist: I guess at this point, I must ask you what you mean by "humanism" and "humanistic explanations". I do hope you don't mean "science", such as the teaching of evolution, because science transcends (or should transcend) belief systems.

If you mean "humanistic ethics", I can't honestly remember having been taught any in school at all. We just had rules, but no one told us, for instance, that it was wrong to steal- it was assumed that parents did that. I think it would be fine, in fact it would be a good idea, to give students an overview of ethical systems in the world, including religious ones, but without pushing any particular ones over others.

boss- no, I'm really not motivated by a desire to convert people to atheism. If people do convert, that's fine; if not, that's fine too. What motivates me, besides self-enlightenment and entertainment, is to try to find common ground with people of differing beliefs, because we need to cooperate, now more than ever. Theism, like atheism, is not going away anytime soon; so we need to learn to get along.

cheers from icy Vienna, zilch

bossmanham said...

I'd ask why, but we want to get along here. ;-)

zilch said...

boss- you ask "why?" That's easy: because. Can't go much further than that with words.

cheers from icy Vienna, zilch

bossmanham said...

Exactly. There's no real reason, just the fake ones we invent.

zilch said...

Call it what you want, boss. Since I see no evidence for the existence of what you consider "real" reasons, your division of "real" and "fake" is not in my world. Therefore, there's no disagreement.

cheers from icy Vienna, zilch