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Saturday, January 03, 2009

Religion: There is atheism, ... and then there is materialist atheism ...

A friend wants me to contribute to the Atheism is Dead blog. I will try to do this, as I have time (though I never seem to have a lot of that).

For the record, my own view is that materialist atheism is indeed dead. As I explain here, the things that materialist atheists needed to happen have never happened - and that's why their idea is dead.

There are, of course, non-materialist atheist traditions, like Tibetan Buddhism, which are not at all threatened by the demise of materialist atheism in the West.

Materialist atheism is a pretty low-class show, to begin with. Materialist atheists want you to believe you are an animal, not really responsible for what you do. Bears fight, and so do people ... and it's all the same thing in the end. Is it?

Hundreds of millions of people worldwide have been atheists who nonetheless thought that humans are morally responsible. Typically, they belong to traditions where we must work off our sins in a future life. So if you want to spend this life using and abusing everyone and everything around you, fine - but according to them, you will work it off in another life. There is no free lunch in those traditions, as there is in materialist atheism.

Anyway, I just want it on the record that I have far more respect for traditional atheists, agnostics, and deists- among whom were some really major Western philosophers - than I do for the current crop of "We're just the 98% chimpanzee"crowd. All I can think of to say is, "Speak for yourself, Bud."

In fact, as a traditional Christian, I would say - in criticism - that that is exactly the problem with non-materialist atheism. There is no grace. Grace is not a free lunch. It is, for example, a father going out to meet his wayward son, when the latter has chosen to return.

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