Lispian Random meanderings on whatever catches my fancy

Why I Have Serious Problems With Some Atheists

This is not a rant against some of my atheist friends who are thoughtful and willing to think deeply beyond the limitations of science. This is directed at certain “new atheists” who, to me, espouse infantile arguments and show utter contempt and intolerance to any views but their own. I have simply grown weary of dealing with the inanities of folks of Dawkins’ ilk and his myriad half-witted followers. Individuals who believe that you should look solely to nature and the physical laws and that nothing beyond said laws require any rumination. One must simply draw a line at some imaginary point in the past and say that everything forward from there is understandable and that’s all that needs to be understood.

But what of before that point? No one, not Dawkins, not Hawking, not anyone that I know of in science can explain why there is something instead of nothing. Not even books that use “nothing” and “something” in their titles and proclaim to be “science” books explain it. They always fall back upon materialism, upon physical “things” to explain why there is something. But they fail miserably when trying to explain why those physical things even exist or why the laws that govern them exist.

It seems that a lot of people who think they’re very smart seem determined to show the world that they’re really very shallow thinkers. That they wish to deconstruct the universe and creation into nothing more than a bunch of rules governing a bunch of physical “things”, things that just always have been. To ask why those rules or things even exist is “stupid” to them. It signals a lower intelligence according to many of them. Yet, to me and many others — especially philosophers and theologians — it shows these “new atheists” to be little more than infantile generalists with little comprehension of philosophy let alone theology.

The fact that new atheists will simply wave their hand at anything before the universe existed as unworthy of intellectual effort is an affront to the curiosity of man. We all awake with a wonderment of creation and a desire to know why we’re here, why is there something instead of nothing, why does the universe even work in a way that’s comprehensible. To “new atheists” that type of thinking is troublesome, the font of all evil. Instead, we should simply focus on what can be materially tested. No more. To think beyond that is “stupid”, to quote a favourite word of many of the “new atheists”.

As a scientist I am constantly and fully disgusted by the “new atheists” and their inability to leverage curiosity beyond the confines of the natural sciences. To wonder what more there may be. To believe that only that which their senses detect is all that there can be. The arrogance, hubris, and naiveté of that type of thinking is mind numbing. The fact they’re also insulting, childish, churlish and intolerant only makes there views more repugnant.

The new atheists love laughing at fundamentalists of various stripes and yet display the same level of hatred, distrust and narrow thinking they claim to abhor in said people. It would be funny if it weren’t so utterly sad.

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March 2012
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