Ruled by fear and fury

Christians often wonder why atheists appear to be so angry. This mystifies some cheerful atheists, while the mere observation of the obvious sends others into a rage. David Frum’s report on David Rieff’s new book about the death of his mother suggests a partial explanation for the constant state of fury that afflicts some atheists as well as suggests one explanation for the superior state of theist mental and physical health:

For Rieff (as for Sontag) death is catastrophe, ruin, destruction, the annihilation of a living, thinking, conscious being. It is murder for the dying one; robbery for those from whom she is stolen; unmitigated loss and absolute catastrophe; made somehow worse (if there can be worse) by the protracted intrusion and humilations of the medical process. There is not a trace of acceptance in this book. Neither Sontag nor Rieff makes peace with what happens to her, what will happen to him, what must happen to us all. They remain to the end outraged by the horror of what they are to suffer….

The traditionally religious will be disturbed by Rieff’s utter certainty that the life of the mind ceases with the life of the body.

But why would anyone be in the least bit disturbed by his certainty or lack of it? One can feel sorry for his loss, even sorrier for the prison he has made for himself of his own consciousness, but disturbed? One need not subscribe to my Game Designer theory of God to anticipate finding out what comes next, even if death is naught but an endless nap, there’s not much that’s more comfortable than a really deep and dreamless sleep.

The downside of atheist anger is that it is the driving force behind earthly utopianism, it is the source of the moral urgency that underlies the more dangerous forms of secular humanism. And I do not need to remind anyone who has read TIA that attempting to build paradise on Earth, regardless of the creed that serves as the foundation of that would-be paradise, has proven to be Mankind’s fastest route to Hell.

It’s not the voters

Who are committing political suicide:

The depressing GOP field that has paved a path to victory for McCain also gave surprising wins last night to Huckabee in Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee, as well as in his home state of Arkansas. Still, McCain has so radicalized key conservatives that some have vowed to turn themselves into suicide voters next November by pulling the lever for Hillary Rodham Clinton over him.

This last-minute blitz against McCain by Limbaugh and others, however, comes far too late. But if those conservatives sit out the general election, they will help Democrats make history by electing either the first black president or the first female president next November.

First, as I have been saying since 2003, Hillary Rodham-Clinton will be president in 2008. It was inevitable. Second, as Peggy Noonan correctly ascertained, it is George Bush the Younger who murdered the Republican party by continually pushing leftward on everything but taxes. I wrote about the need for Republicans to resist his demand for expanded government since my very first political column, written on September 14th, 2001. The Republican Party elite and the conservative commentariat conspired in that murder, first by betraying their principles and repeatedly defending Bush in the name of the war, then by embracing deeply non-conservative candidates such as Giuliani, Romney and McCain.

So, stay home in good conscience, Republicans. Because the Democratic candidate is going to win anyhow, and if you don’t stay home and McCain performs reasonably well, you will never get your party back from the Dem-Lites who now control it.

Red Queen response #2

They’ve got three more days, but so far, Crazy Ivan’s response is still the best that the Dawkins cheerleading club has managed despite cranking out 1780 posts on the subject of The Irrational Atheist. Fortunately, one Dominic Saltarelli looks as if he might actually be capable of presenting an argument of at least some degree of competence:

“Vox Day” shouldn’t just be ignored. For the sake of intellectual honesty, he should be crushed. And that can only be done when you get to know him as a person, which means reading the book to see how it is he draws those wild conclusions he posts on that blog of his. Which is something I intend to at least take a stab at once I finish reading the book.

I completely agree. If you think you can crush me and the arguments I’ve presented in TIA, then take your best shot. If I’m the ignorant, idiotic, illiterate poopyhead that you keep claiming me to be, then crushing me should be no trouble at all for even the dimmest of the brights. Just remember what ol’ Vox Day does when the Net quakes, the poison insults fall from the sky, and the pillars of atheism shake with fury. Yeah, Vox Day just looks that big old hissy fit right in the eye and says, “Give me your best shot. I can take it.”

Unfortunately, Mr. Saltarelli appears to be the exception, as it looks like Dawkins is mostly followed by a pathetic collection of intellectually dishonest lapdogs, losers and little bitches with nothing but bark. Steve Zara demonstrates:

I have a lot of sympathy with this view. But, I am sorry to say, I don’t think it will work. Someone like Vox Day has almost certainly already worked out all the counter-arguments. In fact, I am sure he would not have written the book in the first place if he had not known the response. He even attempted to provoke the predicted responses on this site. My view is that the best response is to ignore the book at this stage. I see no evidence that it has gained significant publicity.

And that says all you need to know about the intellectual level of militant, evangelical atheism. As I wrote in TIA, the not-so-new atheists are afraid. They’re afraid of religion, they’re afraid of what science hath wrought, they’re afraid of the future, they’re afraid that God just might exist, and most of all, they’re afraid to have their irrationality, ignorance and intellectual mediocrity exposed for all the world to see. Whether the book ever receives a modicum of publicity or not is irrelevant; the truth it contains will eventually come out.

But Mr. Zara is partially correct. Being a lifelong strategy gamer I have naturally worked out many convincing counter-attacks to all of the obvious atheist defenses, which is why none of the atheist icons are likely to ever dare confronting me in debate in any form. (Heck, I’ve even named some of the inevitable atheist defenses, like the Fighting Withdrawal, Defiance on Hill 1917 and Zara’s own response, Silence That Gun.) The Unholy Trinity would much rather take on the likes of Michael Jackson’s rabbi and other soft-spoken, decrepit old men, who wouldn’t humiliate them by taking them apart even if they could. But this doesn’t mean that I believe I have an utterly air-tight case that is unrebuttable in even the smallest detail. Despite being an Internet Superintelligence, I still make the occasional mistake and there’s bound to be a number of them in any book of 100k words. That’s precisely why I maintain a public list of errata over in the TIA forums. (So far the dumbest error is when I dated the October Revolution to 1919, two years after it actually occurred. I have no idea how that happened as I know perfectly well when it took place.) But so far none have proven to be significant or even damaging to any of my arguments, and unlike the New Atheists, I recognize that the only way to continue to strengthen my case is to allow it to be tested by everyone, friend and foe. That is why, unlike them, I neither fear nor ignore criticism, but welcome it instead.

So bring it, bitches. Because if you don’t, you’re admitting to everyone of every creed or lack of creed that you’ve got nothing except complaints about my lack of etiquette. Yeah, that’s deeply relevant coming from a group that actually uses the cretinous word “fucktard”…. And you can’t convincingly feign disinterest either, not after vandalizing Wikipedia, trying to substitute reviews of a four year-old editorial for a newly published book, posting one-star Amazon reviews of a book you admittedly haven’t read, and clucking like cowardly chickens from the safety of Richard Dawkins’s Internet embrace.

As for Diacanu, I can only say that a picture is worth a thousand words.

WND and its attitude towards science

My TENS instructor wonders about WND’s motivation in covering a new paper proposing an abiotic origin for what are generally deemed to be fossil fuels:

Do you think that WND’s publicizing this research stems from a technical interest as to whether hydrocarbons of abiotic origin are being produced by natural processes? Or do they have a political agenda, and what might it be? And if so, what support, if any, would an understanding of this research actually supply, in your opinion?

It’s primarily a political agenda, although with WND one should never discount the influence of a mild case of National Enquiritis. If it’s contrarian and a little bizarre, it’s going to be of interest to the editors there. (Come to think of it, this may go a long way towards explaining why they are happy to feature me as one of their headline commentators.)

To understand WND, you have to understand that Joseph Farah is an OJ, an OG of the old school of journalism. He seriously believes in the historical idea of the press as an important check on government, a watchdog, he does not see it as the imperial, quasi-governmental Fourth Estate that those who consider journalism a “profession” do. I daresay he considers the First Amendment to be the 11th Commandment, which is why his forthcoming take on McCain being the Republican standard bearer should be very interesting indeed in light of McCain-Feingold.

Now these days, science is increasingly government and vice-versa. The line is badly blurred. This is why the New Atheists can argue, with a straight face, that opposing the funding of stem-cell research is somehow tantamount to “endangering science”. (I probably should have gone deeper into explaining this absurdity in TIA, as no doubt the usual suspects will have no idea what I’m talking about there.) It’s also why every bit of new evidence relating to a potential health risk from eating bananas takes about fifteen minutes to be translated into a new Congressional imperative. This has led to some ironic results; an increasingly “scientific” approach to government has resulted in several generations of children who can’t read and do math, let alone handle even the most basic science education.

That’s bad enough. Even worse, though, is the way that science is being used to push both transnational and global governance agendas. Economics is used to push imperial super-sovereign oligarchies like the EU and the NAU, while climatology and marine biology are used as the basis for turning over national sovereignty to the United Nations. It’s worth noting that past centralized power grabs have also been based on science, however “bad” that science might have been; none of them turned out well for anyone involved.

So, as long as science – or at list scientistry – insists on wedding itself to increasing the scope of government, you can guarantee that those inherently skeptical of government power and opposed to its expansion will always leap at every opportunity to expose its hypocrisies and criticize it. And the most effective means of doing this is to highlight those increasing number of situations where scientistry and scientody appear to be opposed. While there well may be a certain amount of pandering to the militant creationist crowd at WND, I don’t think that’s the driving force here, because if it was, you’d also see Farah and the other editors writing a lot more about evolution and biology. That just hasn’t been the case.

Please note that this is merely speculation based on my own observations over the six years I’ve been writing for them, I have no standing to speak for either WND or Mr. Farah.