Monday, July 29, 2013

"Angry Atheists" / C.S.Lewis and Rex Murphy

In "Surprised by Joy" we hear about Lewis' faith or lack of faith state while at Wyvern Public School.

"I was at this time living, like so many Atheists or Antitheists, in a whirl of contradictions.  I maintained that God did not exist.  I was also very angry with God for not existing.  I was equally angry with Him for creating a world." (p. 115, Harvest Books, 1955)

When you go out on the internet as a confessing Christian and meet your first set of hard-boiled atheists, you notice at once the fierce anger, the immediate insults though you have barely said a thing to them.  In the beginning it strikes you as strange and ill, but by now it is a pattern.  

Does it stem from this "whirl of contradictions" in the soul?  Oh, sure, you can always find fault with religion, politics, culture, etc., but what is it really?  

Rex Murphy, a respected Canadian commentator, dissected the atheist mind-set and method and ferreted out a number of contradictions.  Here is the article.  It is a must read.

He begins by highlighting the "unmanly" attack of Christopher Hitchens on Mother Theresa.  This seems to be a prime example of this "anger". 

Then he goes on to Richard Dawkins, Hichtchens' "grim, self-advertising equal". "Dawkins can be quite the toad, a kind of Don Rickles for unbelievers.  He appears not so much as a person who subscribes to a particular philosophy or worldview as someone who cannot abide the thought that others do not wish to think the same as he. There’s something almost fanatic about the intensity with which he derides and insults Christians and other faiths (but, it seems to me, mostly Christians)."

Then Rex has a brief look at the atheist "victim" mentality.  They deride religion vociferously and then complain that everywhere they look they are subjected to being reminded of it.  Then they complain about creches and such things.  "A strange posture" says Rex.

Then they complain that their "human rights" are infringed upon by having to witness such things.  What has this to do with "human rights"?   "Actually, of course, the comforts of religion, for believers, are not “human” rights at all, but the mercies of a benevolent God. Thankfully, these fall outside the reach of any tribunal to grant or grieve."  

So, whatever they derive from atheism should not be a matter of tribunals but of intrinsic value.   What substantial thing are you getting from atheism?  Do you really need to keep resorting to courts?

From here, Rex, launches into the very strange demand by atheists in the U.S. military for their own chaplain.  Why would an atheist need a chaplain?  "Very odd, to say the least. But, as usual, the professional non-believers see themselves as much put-upon and ignored. They claim, in fact, to be (within the Army) more numerous than 'Jews or Hindus or Buddhists or Muslims.'  It’s very telling they make this comparison, for here, as in much else of modern atheism, they betray the need to be seen in the very category of those they derogate: a religious one. Why should those who don’t believe at all clamour for the same structures, assists and services of those who in fact do believe? Funny, you never hear them wishing for their own Hell."

It is a contradiction that the very ones seeing themselves as atheists put themselves into in this kind of category.  

To bring the whole argument to a nice climatic conclusion Rex drives the argument to its end:  "After all, to chase the religious analogy to its limit, then they should equally be asking for prayer, the remission of sins, occasional fasts and Lenten exercises, and at least Sabbath and Sunday services. At which, under clouds of incense, they could intone from the works of George Orwell and Thomas Huxley and chant a hymn: Our Dawk, who art in the Guardian, and always on the BBC, hollowed be thy fame, thy royalties come, thy shill be done … “

The whole thing is "ludicrous", says he.

It does say something about our souls.  Atheism is indeed deeply contradictory, at least for many, as it was for C.S.Lewis.  And it does not work.  It does not work on an inter-personal level, nor an intra-soul level.  We are just not made this way. 

No comments: