From Patrick Madrid:
David Kupelian, author of the best-selling The Marketing of Evil, offers a meaty analysis of how militant atheism is gaining ground — lots of ground — across the United States, particularly in our schools and universities.
One technique employed by atheists to discredit religion is to constantly equate the ongoing violence of Muslims around the world with “religion.” The fallacy runs along these lines: Muslims believe in God and are religious fanatics who murder people in the name of God and religion. Catholics, Protestants, and others also believe in God and are therefore also religious fanatics who [would if they felt they needed to] murder people in the name of God and religion.” That’s not a true categorical syllogism, but you get the idea.
“Remember, to atheists, Christianity, Judaism and Islam are all pretty much the same —dangerous monotheistic fairy tales that induce people to oppress and kill each other — the only difference being the particular myths, superstitions and rules they impose on followers based on each religion’s traditions and supposed ‘holy books.’
“Thus, the pathological fanaticism and hair-trigger violence exhibited by brainwashed jihadists around the world today are easily associated by atheists with all religions, especially when they call to mind abuses committed in past centuries — say, the Inquisition or the Salem witch trials – in the name of Christianity.
“Another major, if more long-term, factor contributing to the popularity of atheist books, Prager notes, is the ‘secular indoctrination of a generation,’ thanks to our de facto atheistic public school system:
“‘Unless one receives a strong religious grounding in a religious school and/or religious home, the average young person in the Western world is immersed in a secular cocoon. From elementary school through graduate school, only one way of looking at the world – the secular — is presented.
“‘The typical individual in the Western world receives as secular an indoctrination as the typical European received a religious one in the Middle Ages. I have taught college students and have found that their ignorance not only of the Bible but of the most elementary religious arguments and concepts — such as the truism that if there is no God, morality is subjective — is total. So the generation that has been secularly brainwashed is now buying books that reconfirm that brainwash – especially now, given the evil coming from religious people.’
“Finally, observes Prager, Christianity and Judaism have, with some notable exceptions, failed to effectively counter the ever-rising tide of atheistic secularism in the Western world. Pointing out that ‘it is virtually impossible to distinguish between a liberal Christian or Jew and a liberal secularist,’ he notes that all three ‘regard the human fetus as morally worthless; regard the man-woman definition of marriage as a form of bigotry; and come close to holding pacifist beliefs, to cite but a few examples.’
“Thus, with religious evil increasing in the world – thanks to Islam — and fewer and fewer people willing and able to confront it, Prager concludes ‘the case for atheism will seem even more compelling.’”
It is unbelieving to me – being a scientist – to post an article dismissing Darwinism as a mere theory among others and in addition blaming Darwinism for the rise of atheism and a religion in as own rights. Truly the acknowledgment of religion and the existence of any deity by Darwin himself is often overlooked, but the evolution theory itself has never claimed to be a religion or a replacement of religion. 2009 has been declared the “Darwin year” and hopefully this will shed more light on the issue of religion and Darwinism. Hopefully the proponents of intelligent design – no evidence for this “theory” or humbug as I prefer to call it – accept Darwinism in the same way the majority of evolutionists have embraced Genesis as a theological account of creation. It is hard to believe that David Kupelian seems to be a fundamentalist in this matter and even harder to believe that his article has been published on this site without any critical comment by Patrick Madrid.
Concerning the rise of atheism as a consequence of the rise of Islamic fundamentalism I disagree as well. In the past religion in the west was necessary to maintain the functioning of society by establishing the very institutions required for a functioning state/society – both social and legislative. We live at a time when these functions are largely covered by the welfare state so the very function of any higher authority becomes obsolete. Laws are enacted and controlled by the legislative, executed by a legitimate executive and independent jurisdiction, who also controls the executive if necessary. Welfare is administrated by the institutions instituted by the elected government and payed for by the people. Therefore religion is often seen as obsolete, especially the organizations which were formed during history – including the Catholic Church. It is easy to blame the media if the reasons are to complicate to communicate.
So … Government is our moral compass? How’s that working out for us?
The “moral compass” is set by the society as a whole and not exclusively by any single part of it; in a democracy and pluralistic society the government reflects it’s electorate and therefore the society sets this compass.
Therefore the laws – made by the representatives chosen – reflecting the will of the majority of the society and are subject to change. Given the heterogeneity of the society any law is by necessity a compromise. In a democratic society the supreme being are the citizens to which governments have to report to. Morality is indeed subjective to a certain degree except for basics found in one way or another in all world religions – technically codified for Christians and Jews in the Ten Commandments and laid out in the Universal declaration of human rights by the UNO.
Having said this the role of the Church is by necessity limited to be a participant in this process among others; this is the result of the events which took place in France in 1789 and earlier here in the US in 1776 as well as with the “evolution of society”. As Catholics we have to come to terms with the secular society and try our best to make our voice heard and help to set the moral guidelines by being an example.
So we need to include the Torah, Quran, Sutras, Buddhist, Shinto, Daoist and other religious books and prayer right? If so, then I agree, because then it’s fair.
Atheism…being ‘sold’? I think not.
The ancient hard-wired drive within us all – to seek the cause of the effect – will be weighing on us for a long time to come. Deal with it.
Some accept the weight of wanting to know what is not known, others must stick a name and parental ways to the interplay of titanic forces that brought us to this point of existence. It’s comforting to believe that one has an eternal parent ever watchful. It’s not healthy for the mature psyche, but it’s comforting.
The numerous and sometimes lengthy names once used, for the imagined ‘That’ which caused all to be, have shrunken over time down to ‘god’. Zeus, Jupiter, Zoroaster and their supernatural courts have passed by the way as Humankind has developed.
Compassion, Wisdom and Responsibility were around long before the first written words. Yes, I’m a proud atheist. I see it as freedom and I hope to free as many as possible of my brothers and sisters over time. I’m not angry. Actually, I’m happy and free of the crippling superstitious beliefs that still sadly cripple so many humans around the world.
You and I are both atheists. I simply believe in one less than you. Good journey.
I have to agree with DAN
What does Atheism sell? Nothing.
What does Religion sell? Ever lasting life in a fairy tale world.