For a good taste of the intellectually vapid, juvenile nature of the retorts to atheistic arguments, one need look no further than the Master of Projection, Townhall columnist Doug Giles.
In this article, Giles pursues one long and unsupported ad hominem argument that surely titillated his prepubescent fans (of which there are no doubt many) beyond repair. One really has to read it to believe any serious journalist or journalistic organization would publish such a thing:
”Atheists would love for everyone to believe that their motive for not believing is an intellectual one. Yes, the atheists ardently suppose that they are wise and the Christians, well, we’re the buckle-shoed buttheads.
Yes, darling, the atheists would love all of us to suppose that they cannot believe because they are so astute and rational, and we theists, heck we’re toads . . . a veritable troop of abecedarian simpletons who believe in God and Christ simply because we’re straight goofy.
I think the atheists believe in not believing, however, not because they’re intellectual little dandies but because they want to be autonomous, loose and randy.”
As one reads such words, one can easily see the rhetorical version of a child holding his breath, stamping his feet, and calling “big poopie heads”, everyone who insists his imaginary friend isn’t real. There is no substance of a rebuttal, no attempt to understand the arguments put forth against his pet belief. There’s just juvenile anger. Oh, and a reference to someone almost as ignorant of atheism as Giles is, that great manipulator of the media, Dinesh D’Souza:
”As Dinesh D’Souza said about the atheist’s faith in no faith in his new book What’s So Great About Christianity: ‘Atheism is not primarily an intellectual revolt, it’s a moral one.’ God, that’s got to hurt you guys because you pride yourself on being so wise . . . so sophisticated . . . and here he/we are saying that your atheism rises out of hedonism instead of intellectualism. Ouch. Need a bandaid?”
Hardly. Christians that ignore the substance of atheistic arguments and argue ad hominem that atheists are immoral is old news, to put it kindly. That Giles thinks this would come as a surprise to us, or otherwise have any effect on our views, only confirms how truly clueless he is with regard to what makes unbelievers tick. One might as well ignore the fact that “Atheists”, by definition, do not believe in any gods, and blithely claim we are just afraid of their judgement.
”Look, I’m not buying that the atheists’ altruistic self-professed pursuit of reason is what undergirds their conclusion that God does not exist; I believe it’s because they want to believe that they’ll never be called into eternal accountability for their temporal actions by a holy God. Talk about an opiate for the masses!
But to heck with what I think, eh? I’m just a hayseed, cross-eyed Christian with an IQ of 50 who believes in Jesus, loves his mama, salutes the flag and collects guns. I’m an idiot.”
Well um, yes, Doug, if the ignorance and stupidity that literally drips from this column is any indication of your intellectual prowess and honesty. Rather than deal with what atheists actually think, you create a straw man to beat on. That might elevate your flagging ego a bit, but for us it’s just the same old boring irrelevant nonsense we are used to getting from, well, hayseed, cross-eyed Christians with IQs of 50.
In the true spirit of intellectually dishonest cranks, Giles then goes on to quotemine atheists, and then distorts the meaning even beyond that.
”Let’s go to the atheists and hear it from the horse’s mouth—or backside (411 taken from D’Souza’s book, What’s So Great About Christianity): “
Let me get this straight Doug. You think taking Dinesh D’Souzas claims of what atheists think and say at face value, qualifies as hearing it from the horses mouth? Have you been working with the FEMA press people or something? If you want to know what atheists think, ask atheists. Its not complicated, that is, as long as it is truth you seek, and not some narrow socio-political agenda. The latter can only explain his twisted interpretation of the following:
”• Biologist Stephen Jay Gould: “We may yearn for a higher answer—but none exists. This explanation, though superficially troubling if not terrifying, is ultimately liberating and exhilarating.”
Biologist Julian Huxley, the grandson of Darwin’s buddy and ally Thomas Henry Huxley, put it this way: “The sense of spiritual relief which comes from rejecting the idea of God as a supernatural being is enormous.”
• Julian’s brother Aldous Huxley, not to be outdone by his bro, stated, “I had motives for not wanting the world to have meaning; consequently I assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption . . . For myself as no doubt for most of my contemporaries, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation . . . liberation from a certain system of morality. We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom.”
Bertrand Russell: “The worst feature of the Christian religion is its attitude toward sex.”
• Christopher Hitchens: “The divorce between the sexual life and fear . . . can now at last be attempted on the sole condition that we banish all religions from the discourse.”
Sounds like these atheist apostles are simply putting a nuevo twist on an ancient bent. They appear to be humming the Marquis de Sade’s tune more than Sagan’s. Looks and sounds like a moral revolt to me. Yes, this is Epicurus all over again. “
Pointing out the stupidity of religious views with regard to sex, and the damage they do pursuing the enforcement of these views on society, isn’t in the same ballpark as de Sade or Epicurus. Its not even the same sport. Contrast the sexual habits of your average atheist with the likes of Ted Haggert and the rest of the men’s room gropers on the religious right, and it is hard to take Giles insinuation that atheists are the sexually unhealthy ones with any seriousness at all. In fact, if one peruses the writings of the religious and the nonreligious and compares the rate at which they discuss sex, it is pretty clear who is obsessing over sex - the ones overly concerned about what the rest of us are doing. Those looking to ban or limit some activity are almost always more concerned about it than those who participate.
And yes, realizing that one is not under the thumb and cruel judgement of a nutcase like Yahweh is certainly liberating. Does a feeling of liberation at the acceptance of a truth now make it not a truth in Giles twisted world? No Doug, your ignorant irrational rantings do nothing to dissuade atheists, I assure you. They serve only to highlight, yet again, the intellectual dishonesty that pervades the religious right. They are all too eager to drudge through history books grasping at any quote that sounds like it might support their case, searching desperately for anything to stop the onslaught of reason directed at their cherished fantasies. They are willing to do just about anything, except, of course, dealing honestly with what atheists actually believe, and the evidence that supports their view that the gods are fiction.
People like Giles and D’Sousa have to hurl epithets, for they have no substance. They must quote mine, because they can’t deal with what atheists really think. They much make insinuations and ad hominems, because they have no substantive arguments of their own to make. Their every utterance adds to the atheist cause.