Militant Atheism and Mendacity How the rise of atheism is destroying truth
Public opinion polls show faith in a Blessed Creator melting in Europe, in other English speaking democracies, in Japan – just about everywhere but America that counts. Even in America, the most religious nation on Earth, the percentage of the American people who believe in a Blessed Creator is declining.
Atheism is not the advocacy of murder or rapine or any other particular social vice, so is the decline of faith in God a serious social problem? It is. It is a problem for the same reason that science and the systematic study of knowledge arose precisely once in human history: the Christian medieval university. It is. It is for the same reason that the Jewish people have not only survived the Diaspora but thrived and made Israel a living nation again.
Without God, everything is permitted. That literary maxim of the Nineteenth Century is quite true, but it somewhat misses the mark. The wilted lettuce of atheism in Europe and America is not about to set up a Gulag or a system of death camps. Atheists are not championing the cause of ghastly criminals whose horrors haunt our television news. Indeed, militant atheism in modern industrial democracies masquerades as compassion, “Secular Humanism,” as Bill O’Reilly likes to call it.
It is true that the denial of objective moral absolutes which is atheism inevitably leads toward more and more members of society becoming self-absorbed monsters, but that is not the biggest social problem of atheism rampant. Atheist Soviet Russia like atheist Nazi Germany had a degree of social order. Crimes like murder and rape and burglarly, when not perpetrated by the state, were punished. Life is unpredictable, death is certain, and the best grounded system of objective moral absolutes will not prevent tragedy or keep creeps from winning lotteries.
The hidden horror of atheism is a greater loss than just the grave which faces us all, and the loss of God involves a loss greater than just chastity, charity and security. The loss of God involves the loss of the possibility of truth. Why? If there are no absolute objective moral virtues, then honesty is not an absolute moral virtue. The Judeo-Christian tradition, what I have sometimes simply called “The Great Faith,” demands the absolute moral virtue of honesty, and it shows this demand it ways that surprise unbelievers.
The Hebrew prophets, for example, never once told their audience “The Blessed Creator says everything you are doing is great. Don’t change a thing.” On the contrary, that part of the Tanach which deals with the major and minor prophets is a litany of complaints from God to the Hebrew nations. Critically, when the Tanach was canonized, all of these embarrassing and serious complaints from God were kept in, while “feel good” books, like Esther, were almost kept out.
Likewise, the Church Fathers did not try to reconcile inconsistencies in the Gospel. Quite the contrary, the different versions of the ministry of Jesus are deliberately kept in. Things hard to grasp and harder to explain are left in the Gospels. Did Jesus have siblings? Why does He pray to His Father on the Cross, like an abandoned child? These very difficulties, like the difficulties of the prophets or the anomalies of Genesis have been kept for thousands of years precisely because serious Jews and serious Christians believe in honesty and believe that honesty is the path to truth and to God.
Atheism, like Allahism (or Sinisterist Radical Islam), by contrast, has no objective moral absolute against lying. People of faith, like everyone, lies sometimes, but they realize that lying is a sin. Atheists simply realize that lying is the easiest way of accomplishing your objective. This does not just mean self-enrichment or self-aggrandizement, but it also means achieving goals which, to an atheist, are “noble.”
So, when religion came under its most serious attack in the early Nineteenth Century, the professors who launched the attack first began to lie. They pronounced as fact things like Christians had believed the Earth was flat before Columbus or that the complaints about Galileo’s heliocentrism were theological, rather than scientific, even though they knew this was not true. Because these professors did not believe in the Judeo-Christian God, they saw no ethical problem with destroying the idea of God with lies. Serious Christians and Jews, by contrast, could not do that. Dishonesty is a sin.
The consequence is that a marketplace of ideas filled with atheists quickly produces a lot of counterfeit intellectual currency. Why be even-handed in research if you know that you are right and there is no God to worry about? Indeed, why worry about even being right? If you fancy a theory, fabricate findings to “prove” it and then move on (much like Margaret Mead did when she invented findings about Samoa, because it described a reality she preferred.)
This all falls from the prime sin of pride. Atheists like Margaret Mead wanted to be a god (or goddess) and create a reality to her liking. Atheists like Rachel Carson included, in her “masterpiece,” Silent Spring, a dedication to Albert Schweitzer (who strongly support the use of DDT which she sought to ban), and at least another twenty-seven outright lies from her source materials. She, however, made herself a goddess and the fact that banning DDT caused unimaginable suffering and millions of deaths in the tropical parts of the Third World did not bother her at all.
The dialogue which can produce truth in sociology or environmentalism can only nudge us toward that truth if based upon a holy belief in honesty. Atheists, believing nothing holy but the playthings of their minds and whims, will always allow pride to trump integrity, self-interest to stand above honor. Atheists will always be tugged toward counterfeiting reality and then taking that counterfeit currency and using it to buy fame, wealth, power, adulation (especially the adulation of popularity – because they believe everyone is as hollow as they are.)
The answer to rampant lying in our culture, the need for a user id and password for everything, the doubt in our children’s eyes about everything is not because God is not dead, but because atheists have done their best to try to murder consciousness of God. The first social victim of this attempted homicide is truth itself, but after truth dies then those who murdered truth or rejoiced in its convenient death descend into an infinite maelstrom, an eternal descent, to a place devoid of purpose or of hope.
Bruce Walker has been a published author in print and in electronic media since 1990. He is a regular contributor to WebCommentary, Conservative Truth, American Daily, Enter Stage Right, Intellectual Conservative, NewsByUs and MenÕs News Daily. His first book, Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie by Outskirts Press was published in January 2006.