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12/31/09

PZ Myers – Contra Mitch Daniels and Pro Positive Affirmation of God’s Non-Existence, part 2 of 2

PZ Myers has picked a bone with Mitch Daniels as Daniels was prompted to make certain statements about atheism. Mitch Daniels is the Governor of Indiana whom PZ Myers, in accordance with his characteristically belligerent mannerism, has chosen to refer to as, “profoundly stupid…a mindless ratbag.”[1]

PZ Myers states that “Equality was an ideal of the Enlightenment…not Christianity.” Let us consider the overarching concept that God created both males and females in His image (Genesis 1:27). Next consider the following statements:
…the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all (Colossians 3:11).

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28).

In Christ we are all equal as there are no—gender, national or racial—ontological distinctions.
I know that iTheists such as PZ Myers not only want equality with God (Genesis 3:4), but want to be above God (see Isaiah 14:12) and finally do away with God and worship nature (see Atheism as nature worship or neo-paganism). However, it should also be noted that Myers’ concept of a hierarchy is faulty as equality amongst humans does not contradict being “topped by a god.”



Note that Myers asserts that, “There is no eternal standard of right and wrong.” Keep this in mind as Myers is about to tell us what is right and wrong while asserting that there are no right and wrong but that he is right and Mitch Daniels and Christians are wrong but not according to any eternal standard which he thinks is wrong but he is ultimately right since there are not eternal standard………..or something.
Moreover, note Myers’ characterization of Daniel’s morality, “how hollow his morality is at the core; he cannot imagine a good life without a priest telling him what is right and wrong.” Yet, in the very next paragraph morality is bequeathed via the Myersian priesthood as PZ tells us what is right and wrong:
In the absence of a god-given absolute morality, all that matters is how we treat one another in this one life we have. What flows naturally to me is not brutality, which requires an absence of awareness of the suffering of others, but recognition of the fact that my fellow human beings really are my equals: we're all going to die, we only have these few brief decades of life, and who am I to deny someone else the same opportunities I've been given?

But why “In the absence of a god-given absolute morality”? Because PZ Myers holds to a positive affirmation of God’s non-existence without evidence or proof of any sort, merely based on his wish that is be true,
There are no gods, no objective enforcement of a benign morality on us, and that has a couple of consequences. One is that we ought to reject out of hand any claims to morality based on theocratic morality as false…We should build our morality on reason.

I most certainly agree that we should build our morality on reason, “‘Come now, let us reason together,’ says the LORD (Isaiah 1:18). Yet, this reason is to play off of God’s absolute moral premise; actually off of the ethos which is what is premised upon the Trinune God’s relational nature and is absolute.

His contention is that “theocratic morality” is “false” and something that “we ought to reject” it (note the moral imperative, “we ought to”) because he presupposed, again, without evidence/proof, that “There are no gods.”
So, back to “In the absence of a god-given absolute morality” as we come to PZ Myers’ very own Myers-given absolute morality and as we note that he turns his non-sequiturious opinions into a moral imperative. He doeth bequeath “all that matters” and claims that it is “how we treat one another” based on what “flows naturally” and which he personalizes via subjectivism as pertaining “to me.”
But what are his moral imperatives? “not brutality” because that causes “suffering” “but recognition of the fact that my fellow human beings really are my equals.” But upon what does he assert that this is a “fact”? Upon the arbitrary concept that “we're all going to die, we only have these few brief decades of life.” Lastly, he appeals to denying “the same opportunities I've been given.”



I know that to some this sounds oh, so very nice but it must be considered logically nonetheless. The whole assertion is a non-sequitur. Since there is no “god-given absolute morality” PZ Myers is offering the bio-chemically educed opinions of a mere bio-organism floating on the back of a pale blue dot in the universe’s backwaters (he knows this and it is why he refers to his blog posts as “random biological ejaculations”). It may sound great but it merely an arbitrary and subjective opinion. You see, I could just as easily write:
In the absence of a god-given absolute morality, all that matters is how I treat myself in this one life I have. What flows naturally to me is brutality, which follows logically from the very engine of Darwinian evolution; the suffering of others, the struggle for life. The fact that my fellow human beings are not my equals: we're all going to die, we only have these few brief decades of life, and this is why I want to deny someone else the same opportunities I've been given!

Why not? Darwinian survival is specifically about being the fittest over others who do not have the same survival opportunities that I’ve been given via mutations, etc. Shout “Altruistic Darwininan mistakes” all you want the fact is that with no moral imperative in the universe, with only the opinions of a man who lives is a very comfortable and safe Christian country, my conclusions are as valid as Myers’. In a materialistic universe you find meaning for your life where you wish; you could feed the poor or you could eat the poor (see, Atheism On Meaning and Purpose).
Moreover, since there is “no objective enforcement” what is to be done with Myers’ moral imperatives? Well, hopefully we will sing Kumbaya there is no Lord, kumbaya but just how would PZ Myers enforce his commandments? He cannot, he can merely assert and hope for agreement or, perhaps, he will have to rely on “force.”

Note also that while PZ Myers asserts that he is concerned with his fellow and equal human beings he supports the brutal murder of healthy, beautiful, innocent and defenseless human babies as he dehumanizes them by stating that “the pieces of the embryo or fetus” by which he means their mutilated corpses, are merely “beautifully patterned collections of differentiated cells”—in fact, according to materialism we are all and at any age nothing but “beautifully patterned collections of differentiated cells.”

Note that what set PZ Myers’ off against Mitch Daniels was this statement:
People who reject the idea of a God -who think that we're just accidental protoplasm- have always been with us. What bothers me is the implications -which not all such folks have thought through- because really, if we are just accidental, if this life is all there is, if there is no eternal standard of right and wrong, then all that matters is power.

And atheism leads to brutality. All the horrific crimes of the last century were committed by atheists -Stalin and Hitler and Mao and so forth- because it flows very naturally from an idea that there is no judgment and there is nothing other than the brief time we spend on this Earth.

Of course, he does go on to state,
Everyone's certainly entitled in our country to equal treatment regardless of their opinion. But yes, I think that folks who believe they've come to that opinion ought to think very carefully, first of all, about how different it is from the American tradition; how it leads to a very different set of outcomes in the real world.

PZ Myers wrote that “Skipping past the obvious falsehood in his comment”—which means I have no response—“Hitler was not an atheist.” Note that he does not deny that Stalin and Mao were atheists; he seems to have quite a bit over the Arizona Atheist in this regard. Incidentally, while I generally argue that Hitler was not, strictly speaking, an atheist (as I do here) is it a fact that Hitler’s biographer says of him and he is “a man who believed neither in God nor in conscience.”[2]

Now, is it “an absurd non sequitur to declare that awareness of our mortality leads directly to oppression and abuses of power and the selfish acquisition of power at any cost”? Perhaps, ultimately, as atheism does not necessarily necessitate “oppression and abuses of power and the selfish acquisition of power at any cost.”
However, the facts are the facts and the fact is that for one, studies consistently show that atheist are amongst the least charitable, personable, sociable and most unhealthy and depressed amongst us (evidence here) and as Vox Day notes:
Is a 58 percent chance that an atheist leader will murder a noticeable percentage of the population over which he rules sufficient evidence that atheism does, in fact, provide a systematic influence to do bad things?
If that is not deemed to be conclusive, how about the fact that the average atheist crime against humanity is 18.3 million percent worse than the very worst depredation committed by Christians, even though atheists have had less than one-twentieth the number of opportunities with which to commit them.[3]

I am certainly not envisaging PZ Myers as some sort of up and coming monarch yet, all he can do in promulgating his morality is either hoping for a “Be good for goodness’ sake” utopia or else enforce his morality via force.

As an aside, consider this example: when, for some odd reason, spitting in the faces of “religious” parents by referring to them as “child abusers,” “brainwashers,” etc. did not work, militant atheists such as Richard Dawkins hoped that interfering in those families “might lead children to choose no religion at all.”[4]
In this he saw place for “society stepping in”[5] and now they are piggy-backing on the United Nations as the
British Humanist Association stated, “The billboards are being unveiled to coincide with Universal Children's Day, 20 November, which is the United Nations ‘day of worldwide fraternity and understanding between children.’”
This was in reference to the ads which read, “Please don’t label me. Let me grow up and choose for myself” (see here and here for my reworking of the ads)
Thus, from besmirching, to appealing to society, to appealing to the United Nations—from dehumanizing belligerence to force.

PZ Myers ends thusly:
my ideal society would not be led by an autocrat who thought power was a sufficient justification for his actions…nor do I think that a culture built around obedience to tradition, as interpreted by a tribunal of priests, is my idea of a desirable society. And I'm an atheist. Why would a mindless ratbag politician like Daniels think that my dream world would be led by a dictator? I get so tired of being told by the ignorant that my goal is to put a Stalin in power, when they dream of a Palin.

The bottom line is that PZ Myers missed the point entirely and thus, his entire post is fallacious. Mitch Daniels did not claim that an atheist’s “dream world would be led by a dictator” nor that their goal “is to put a Stalin in power.” The point is that, whether they want it or not, there are logical conclusions of atheism and the history of the 20th century are evidence of this as it was the most secular and bloodies century in human history due, almost exclusively, to atheist regimes.

Over all, indeed, PZ Myers is bombastic yet, by saturating his posts with fallacies of various sorts he succeeds in doing nothing but bombing his own assertions into smithereens.

[1] PZ Myers, “I'm so sorry for you, Indiana,” Pharyngula, December 27, 2009
[2] Richard Cavendish, The Powers of Evil in Western Religion, Magic and Folk Belief (Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1975), p. 77-78
[3] Vox Day, The Irrational Atheist: Dissecting the Unholy Trinity of Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens (Dallas, TX: BenBella Books, Inc., 2008), p. 241
[4] Richard Dawkins, “Now Here’s a Bright Idea
[5] During his interview with Gary Wolf, “The Church of the Non-Believers


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2 comments:

  1. What I find most interesting is PZ Myers calls Daniels 'profoundly stupid' then goes on stating that all that matters is how we treat each other in this life, and then proceeds to call Daniels a 'mindless ratbag'.

    Way to go, Myers!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Myers is white trash.

    ReplyDelete