August 2, 2007

Chuck Colson: Atheists Are Irrational And Ignore Evidence

According to Chuck Colson, writing a guest column for Christian Post, Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens represent "a new breed of atheist" which Colson refers to as "the anti-theist." Yep, this is yet another article condemning the atheist revival. Colson focuses primarily on Hitchens, but you'll find little more than recycled arguments that don't work here any better than they did the first 30 times you heard them.

Colson claims that the contemporary atheist movement is quite different from anything we've seen previously. Why? Because today's atheists "don’t want to just deny the existence of God, they want to wipe religion off the map."

Colson's evidence to support this bold assertion? He takes a few of Hitchens' sentences out of context and then draws unwarranted interpretations of them which are not at all evident in Hitchens' book. Never mind what Hitchens actually says - just take Colson's word for it that his bizarre interpretations are supported.

Colson says that Hitchens writes that he'll be content to leave religion alone if religious people stop bothering him. So far so good. This quote is accurate. Colson then notes that Hitchens questions whether believers are willing to do this. Also accurate. Evidently, these two statements are supposed to convince Colson's reader that Hitchens wants to "wipe religion off the map." I'm almost finished with Hitchens book, and I haven't encountered that recommendation yet.

Possibly recognizing that his weak argument falls apart under even minimal scrutiny, Colson then accuses Hitchens of stereotyping believers, as yelling instead of arguing, and being motivated by a dislike of religion. He's really out there now, as there is much in Hitchens book that recognizes differences among believers, provides clear arguments, and explains the harm caused by religion. One wonders if Colson even read the book he attacks. And yes, he makes the atheism-Communism link.

The best part of Colson's article by far is his claim that "anti-theists simply ignore evidence and arguments they don’t like, they’re ill-equipped to deal with them rationally." That's right, the problem is that we atheists are irrational and don't attend to evidence. Right.

Hey Colson, let me put on my psychologist hat for a moment. Freud wrote about a defense mechanism known as projection. He theorized that defense mechanism serve to ward off conscious awareness of unacceptable desires which would otherwise produce anxiety if they entered consciousness. Projection involves the attribution of one's own desires and impulses to someone else. The pedophile sees everyone else as a sexual predator, the racist sees others as intolerant, etc. You figure out where I'm going with this yet?

Anyway, most atheists are atheists because we recognize that you do not have one shred of evidence for your superstition. It isn't that we ignore evidence; it is that we are provided with none. Faith is defined as holding beliefs in the absence of evidence, and that is the theist's game.

Tags: , , , , ,