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Showing posts with label Dylan Klebold. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dylan Klebold. Show all posts

7/10/09

Atheism On Meaning and Purpose

“We are here because one odd group of fishes had a peculiar fin
anatomy that could transform into legs for terrestrial creatures;
because the earth never froze entirely during an ice age; because
a small and tenuous species, arising in Africa a quarter of a million
years ago, has managed, so far, to survive by hook and by crook.
We may yearn for a ‘higher’ answer - but none exists”

—Stephen Jay Gould


Atheism is Dead has previously discerned the difference between meaning and purpose. We will not consider that we humans seek meaning for our lives and that why this is, is something that atheists do not seem to know.

How we choose meaning:

While the New Atheist activists seem to simply assume that when people seek subjective meaning in an objectively meaningless existence they will seek niceties such as reading some good books, gardening, being generally nice, getting involved in disaster relief organizations, etc. But what about the dark side of meaning seeking? What if the meaning someone seeks is malevolent? What if it is masochistic? What if it is pushing the purity and superiority of one race over another? What if it is selfish pleasure seeking that is injurious to others? What if ___________ (fill in the blank).

Purpose may be passing on DNA and thus, propagating the species. Nature can offer you this sort of purpose but what about meaning? Why do we long for, seek for, strive for, live for, die for, meaning?

Well, Michael Shermer would attempt to embarrass you, Prof. Richard Dawkins would “call the police” (hoping that they would agree with him), even while admitting

If somebody used my views to justify a completely self - centred lifestyle, which involved trampling all over other people in any way they chose roughly what, I suppose, at a sociological level social Darwinists did - I think I would be fairly hard put to it to argue on purely intellectual grounds.[1]

Bill Vallicella, the Maverick Philosopher, offered a very interesting and succinct observation in his post Are Atheists Evil? Bad Reasoning in Sam Harris (see that post’s comments section 5.22.2007 12:26pm):

Imagine a situation in which A is in a position to impose his will on B (by raping and murdering her, say) and that A will “get away with it.” (No one cares about B, they are far off in the wild, etc.We may imagine that A will die in a month from cancer.)
In this situation, does A have a reason not to rape and murder B, a reason to not gratify himself? If there is no God, and no surivival [sic] of physical death, what reason could A have? Because it is wrong in the abstract for A to rape and murder? That will strike A as a joke.
“You are going to oppose to my real and furious lust an abstract moral demand that hangs in the air with no way of being enforced??” This is one way to focus the question that people like Harris and Shermer apparaently [sic] don't grasp.

This is one of the ways in which atheism makes evil worse: not only does atheism do nothing about evil, atheism turns evil into a very positive endeavor since the evildoer gets to enjoy themselves and if they are not caught by the legal systems of this world, they simply get away with it while leaving their victims to suffer—atheism offers no ultimate justice nor condemnation.

While some atheist, baselessly, claim that we ought to be moral there are others who see the void that atheism offers and act like the animals that they have been told they are. Some examples are:

In Communist Russia:

prisoners would have their skulls squeezed within iron rings…
human being would be lowered into an acid bath…
they would be trussed up naked to be bitten by ants and bedbugs…
a ramrod heated over a primus stove would be thrust up their anal canal (the “secret brand”)…
a man’s genitals would be slowly crushed beneath the toe of a jackboot.[2]




Jeffrey Dahmer, the murderous cannibal, stated:
If a person doesn’t think there is a God to be accountable to, then…what is the point of trying to modify your behavior to keep it within acceptable ranges? That’s how I thought…I always believed the theory of evolution as truth, that we all just came from the slime.[3]








Pekka-Eric Auvinen conducted a massacre at his high school including murdering the school nurse who had come to the aid of the student that he had already shot. He described himself as “a cynical existentialist, anti-human humanist, anti-social social-Darwinist, realistic idealist and god-like atheist.”[4] And stated, “I am the law, judge and executioner. There is no higher authority than me.”[5]
He had written blog posts and made videos which he referred to as “Manifesto of a Natural Selector.” In these he stated things such as, “I cannot say that I am of the same race as this miserable, arrogant and selfish human race. No! I have evolved a step higher.” Under “What do I love / what do I like?” he listed “evolution science” and “eugenics.”
Part of a manifesto states:
You might ask yourselves, why did I do this and what do I want. Well, most of you are too arrogant and closed-minded to understand…You will proprably [sic] say me that I am “insane”, “crazy”, “psychopath”, “criminal” or crap like that. No, the truth is that I am just an animl [sic], a human, an individual, a dissident…Like some other wise people have said in the past, human race is not worth fighting for or saving…only worth killing.

He made a tribute to Columbine school massacre, Jeffrey Dahmer and Theodore Kaczynski the atheist known as the “unabomber.”[6]

He stated:
I am just a normal anarchist that believes in natural selection…The animals live that way, why won’t the humans. We are animals after all…Law is the opinion of the “higher in power”…That’s why you should take control of your own life. Live in anarchy. Do what you want and don’t let others tell you what to do. This is your own life.
The weak should die while the strong live. It is survival of the fittest, natural selection. Animals die all the time. You don’t see some dog crying their eyes out after they figure out that some other dog died. because another dog has died. Humans die too. It should be the same reaction. It is just all natural, not a big deal. Do not cry for someone you don’t know, this is not sad…
My personal philosophy, the genocide of the human race must happen…I am ready to fight and die for my cause I, as a natural selector, will eliminate all who I see unfit…The time has come to set the principle of the survival of the fittest and natural selection back on its feet.[7]


The Columbine school murders were Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Eric Harris, the more vociferous of the two, made the following statements, “I am higher than you people,” “If you disagree I would shoot you...some people go through life begging to be shot.” He referred to their planned murder spree as “NBK” which stood for “Natural Born Killers” from the movie by the same name. The movie stars Woody Harrelson whose father is a murderer and claimed to be a “natural born killers.” On the day of the massacre he wore a T-shirt which read, “Natural Selection.”[8]
He also wrote, “I’m full of hate and I love it,” and “YOU KNOW WHAT I LOVE??? Natural SELECTION! It’s the best thing that ever happened to the earth. Getting rid of all of the stupid and weak organisms.”
Dylan Klebold wrote the following in reference to a football player, “He doesn’t deserve the jaw evolution gave him. Look for his jaw. It won’t be on his body.”
They carried out the massacre on Adolph Hitler’s birthday.
As it turns out:
Columbine was intended not primarily as a shooting at all, but as a bombing on a massive scale. If they hadn't been so bad at wiring the timers, the propane bombs they set in the cafeteria would have wiped out 600 people. After those bombs went off, they planned to gun down fleeing survivors. An explosive third act would follow, when their cars, packed with still more bombs, would rip through still more crowds, presumably of survivors, rescue workers, and reporters…
Harris wrote down his real feelings in his journal: “Isn’t America supposed to be the land of the free? How come, if I’m free, I can’t deprive a stupid f***ing dumb**** from his possessions if he leaves them sitting in the front seat of his f***ing van out in plain sight and in the middle of f***ing nowhere on a Frif***ingday night. NATURAL SELECTION. F***er should be shot.”[9]

The last statement was in reference to items which he stole from a parked van, this event game him an excuse to exercise manipulation in pretending repentance.



Moreover:
Harris described how he and Klebold…would enforce natural selection in their school…”Sometime in April me and V [referring to Klebold; stands for “vodka”] will get revenge and will kick natural selection up a few notches…anything that will cause damage and chaos…I want to leave a lasting impression on the world…I'm full of hate and I love it. I HATE PEOPLE, and they better f***ing fear me if they know what's good for em…I want to grab some weak little freshman and just tear them apart like a f***ing wolf. Show them who is god. Strangle them, squish their head, bite their temples into the skull, rip off their jaw…this isn't a world anymore, its H.O.E. [hell on earth]…We know what we are to this world and what everyone else is.[10]


To a lesser extent consider James Von Brunn (or Van Brunn) and Timothy Brown (the fecal-excreta smearing harasser).







These are merely a few examples; consider others such as those discussed in the parsed essay From Zeitgeist to Poltergeist. Even more examples could be offered from theists to anything in between.

No, no, no, my point is not that atheism leads inexorably to maniacal behavior.[11] My question is just how, upon what grounding, and not mere assertions, are the actions of these personages condemned? The committed acts that gave their lives meaning, how do we condemn them?

The other point is that upon justifying such condemnations we are affirming an ideal, an ideal for which atheism cannot account, an ideal that is transcendent, an ideal that is beyond human opinion or the alleged do-it-all of evolution.

[1] Nick Pollard talks to Dr. Richard Dawkins (interviewed February 28th, 1995 published in Third Way in the April 1995 edition [vol 18 no. 3])
[2] Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, Thomas P. Whitney, trans., The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956 – An Experiment in Literary Investigation (New York: Harper & Row, 1973), pp. 93-94
[3] During an interview with Stone Phillips, Dateline NBC, 11/29/1994
[4] CNN, Teen dead who opened fire on Finnish classmates, police say also see ABC News, YouTube gunman kills eight at school
[5] Metro.co.uk, Alleged school killer: 'I am the law, judge and executioner'
[6] News.com.au, Profile of Pekka-Erik Auvinen, the YouTube killer
[7] From Auvinen’s post entitled “My Philosophy” and from REUTERS’, Nine die in Finland after YouTube post
[8] Alan Prendergast, “I’m Full of Hate and I Love It”
[9] Dave Cullen, The Depressive and the Psychopath - At last we know why the Columbine killers did it
[10] Columbine killer envisioned crashing plane in NYC
[11] 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.

The Irrational Atheist, p. 241

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