Atheism is soft; it has a mushy jelly centre, and is the philosophy of weak men.
I mean what I say, and I gather that I won’t gain many friends this way. But it is true; atheism is a weak philosophy that revolves around the egotism and sophistry of the adherent.
Quickly, before I continue, I understand that famous atheists have tried to give the impression that it is the atheist who is the free thinker, or the one who takes a risk, but this is nonsense. It is nonsense because atheism requires absolutely nothing of the adherent. The only thing that an atheist has to do is, well, nothing. No belief, except in unbelief. No trust, except in their own thoughts. No obligation to a higher power, except their exhausted intellect. They don’t need to listen to their ancestors, or even the founders of their own civilization. Instead, the atheist is free to be a slave to their own whims and fancies as they bandy around a world in which they are free to act as they choose with no consequences except the ones with which they have subjectively chosen to agree.
I recently came across a debate on YouTube between Christopher Hitchens and Dennis Prager. Hitchens is a deceased atheist author, and Prager is a conservative Jew. Hitchens was undoubtedly a showman and a master of prose, but he was also intellectually dishonest, whereas Prager is as logical as a mathematical formula, and has a wonderful speaking voice. Prager would offer statistical and measured points that would quite frankly set Hitchens on his heels. But, instead of offering counterpoints that were in fact of the same kind of point, Hitchens would weave together a prosaic narrative about the evils that religious people have committed while they claimed to be religious.
I have realized after watching many debates between theists and atheists, that the atheists who are successful employ tactics that are best described as Serpent Tactics. Yes, I mean that serpent, the one from the Garden. I say this because these tactics are very sneaky, yet not outwardly dishonest. The things that these atheists, like Hitchens propose in debate are mostly true, if not fully true, yet not actually logical when measured as a response to the theist. As an example from the debate, Prager had responded to a comment made by Hitchens that the worst evils were specifically religious, and that the greatest goods could be done without religion. Prager did a great job countering this, by using some empirical research from Holocaust experts who stated unequivocally that the greatest ally of the Jew during the Nazi era was the Priest and the Nun. There really was no way for Hitchens to respond to this in kind, so he did what any serpentine debater would do; he notified the moderator that Prager should hurry, and then went on a diatribe about the supposed evils of Catholicism. He threw out a bunch of obscure anecdotes about Bishops requiring their parishes to celebrate Hitler’s birthday, which I can’t find any evidence of, and he also alluded to the idea that many Nazi’s were Catholic. Now, let’s just assume this is all true. The point is, that is that it doesn’t actually make any difference whatsoever as to whether the greatest goods or evils are religious or secular. It also shows that Hitchens, and probably all atheists, don’t actually understand what it means to be religious. Essentially, this is an example of an atheist pointing out all the bad religious people and then suggesting that this makes religions especially bad. This is a woefully simplistic and asinine understanding of religion, Catholicism in particular. Atheists so often miss the point that as Catholics, we understand that any good we may do is basically in spite of our fallen nature. There is nothing about Catholicism that magically makes us good, but instead we recognize that we are in need of mercy for the fact that any of us could under certain circumstances do serious evil. We don’t go to confession because we think we are good, we go because we would like to do better.
These tactics are serpentine, because just like the Devil in the Garden, the atheist will tell a truth about something seemingly related to the actual truth of the matter. He will present something that is attractive to the interlocuter in a way that will confuse with the usage of rhetorical sophistry. Just like when Satan says to Eve “You certainly will not die!”, its true, in the immediate Adam and Eve did not die. However, because of sin, they will end up dying in the end. The Devil did not lie in an obvious sense, but instead he lied in a subversive way, by pointing out something that was true enough to attract our Parents to something even more deadly. In this way, Hitchens and the atheist debaters of his ilk do the same thing as they express with certitude a seemingly related point in order to present you with a scintillating image to attract your attention to their poisonous fruit.
I for one think it’s time for us to say in moments like those presented in the aforementioned debate; “Get thee behind me Satan!”
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