Monday, April 11, 2011

The "Fear of Atheism"--according to Dr. William Lane Craig

Dr. William Lane Craig and Dr. Sam Harris
I recently read a post by the Christian blogger "Wintery Knight," who quoted Dr. William Lane Craig after the April 7, 2011 debate with Sam Harris at Notre Dame University. Dr. Craig is apparently trying to do the old "switcheroo" by claiming that the "new atheists" are "blue collar, and uneducated." I had to lol.....

This is what Dr. Craig said:

"I wonder is something culturally significant is going on here. Several years ago, I asked the Warden at Tyndale House in Cambridge why it is that British society is so secular when Britain has such a rich legacy of great Christian scholars. He replied, “Oh, Christianity is not underrepresented among the intelligentsia. It’s the working classes which are so secular.” He explained that these folks are never exposed to Christian scholarship because of their lack of education. As a result there is a sort of pervasive, uninformed, village atheism among them. I wonder if something like this could be happening in the States. I was surprised to see the number of blue collar folks from the community buying Harris’ book and thanking him for all he has done. They didn’t seem to have any inkling that his views had just been systematically exposed as logically incoherent. The intelligentsia have almost universally panned Harris’ recent book (read the reviews!). Yet it is lapped up in popular culture. Wouldn’t it be amazing if unbelief became the possession mainly of the uneducated?"

The reason why I began this blog, and I go to conferences, and write papers, and talk to people in general at Socrates cafes, book stores, or to anyone anywhere interested in religion and philosophy, is to give everyone the opportunity to learn what religion, and Christianity in particular, is all about--the educated and the uneducated alike.  Note, that I am offended that Dr. Craig implies that the uneducated are too ignorant to understand what is going on.  Oh, quite the contrary.  Once, on the way to a conference, I was invited to stay at a bishop's home, and I did.  It was a beautiful home, and he took me around to show me all the beautiful things in it--from marble floors to exquisite art work.  He tried to enlist me to join his ranks, as I would have much more power, money, and influence to change society in the direction that I was working towards, such as equality, and rights for women.  I told him that it was my duty and goal to inform as many people that I could of all the arguments and explanations as they relate to religion, and Christianity in particular, and philosophy in general, to invoke reflectivity, with the hope that people would choose the truth for themselves once they heard all the arguments and explanations.  The bishop said to me, "Oh, the poor ignorant peasants don't need to know too much.--and that is is why the Bible was translated into Latin in the first place, and was not translated into other languages, so that less people could read and understand it.  The poor ignorant peasants would be too confused, and it is for their own good not to know."  He offered me the opportunity to earn a PhD of theology at their seminary, and said I could choose ANY church in his domain, including Jamaica!!--lol.  Of course, I rejected this, and told him that he should be ashamed of himself for deceiving the masses.  The so-called "uneducated peasants" ARE able to understand and choose the best arguments and explanations when they are provided with all the information.  This is my goal, and I have converted many educated and uneducated people. 

Besides the fact I have already exposed some of Dr. Craig's arguments as being fallacious in this blog (and I will continue to do so as time allows) Dr. Craig obviously did not read Ravi Zacharias' book "Beyond Opinion" as another prominent theist, Alister McGrath, said quite the opposite. Mr. McGrath made the comment that the increased atheism in the West is due to the "Enlightenment" i.e. EDUCATION and knowledge. It is only in oppressed nations such as those in Africa, where Christianity is gaining new converts by giving followers what I claim is "false hope":

""Interestingly, atheism has very limited influence outside Western culture. The only African nation in which it has any significant presence is South Africa, predominantly among the white population. This is a telling indicator of its Western roots, and therefor its predominantly Western appeal. But there is more to this observation than at first seems to be the case. It is not simply that atheism is a Western product/ It is actually a product of one specific area in Western culture: The Enlightenment, or modernity."
(Beyond Opinion, Ravi Zacharias, p. 27)

In fact, I was a theist myself, until I went to college and took every religion course offered. I also took philosophy, where I learned logic, and how to think critically and reflectively, and I believe small children should be taught this skill as well. Today, children and adults go by the rote method, and most do not have the skills to think reflectively or critically, which is why people believe and do things without questioning why--which is dangerous.

While in college, I also learned multiple explanations for biblical text, and the inconsistencies, interpolations, and contradictions, led to the realization that it is nothing but badly written mythology--plagiarized mythology at that. According to Wintery Knight's blog, theists would like their mythology taught as fact in schools, and are encouraging educated Christians to become part of the system to create a "theocracy" in the US:

"It seems that if we had a individuals …with full-on Christian worldviews who have risen to the highest levels of authority in places like the educational system, that they could make just as much impact as what is happening now."

--We cannot allow that to happen if we wish to continue to "evolve."

Christianity became mainstream due to "the sword, or the noose, or various methods of torture" around the world in areas such as Africa*, South America, and of course North America** and Europe***; but now we have a different methodology--education.  Education is a factor that can lead to atheism--I am living proof of that. Western culture and the "Enlightenment" is also showing this to be true. Keep it up people.  Let's put the "fear of atheism" into them....lolol.....

*"European Christianity and the Atlantic Slave Trade: A Black Hermeneutical Study," By Robinson A. Milwood, p.30

**"Introduction to Christianity" By Mary Jo Weaver, David Brakke p. 164
***"The dark side of Christian History" - Helen Ellerbie 

 Addendum--Wintery Knight has not published the comment I made to his posting--I don't wonder why.....


David Rodriguez said...

It's not ad hominem if he asked you where you taught at. At best it may be a red herring, but even then he could have been asking out of curiosity. If you're going to be throwing the fact that you're a "professor" out there you better believe you will get curious questions about your credentials. It's only ad hominem if he some how suggested that your arguments are untrue or false because of your credentials or lack of. But then again, you should have already known that right "professor"?

David said...

My apologies, my previous comment was meant for your post about J.W. Wartick. For some reason my browser loaded this blog post instead. Sorry for the confusion!

A is for Atheist said...

I have already discussed this in my J.W. Wartick post. I also address this subject in my about page. Actually, J.W. Wartick tried to make that claim and tried to avoid the argument--proof is in the pudding. This tactic is very weak because I stay focused on the arguments.

For arguments sake, whether or not I am a professor is neither here nor there--as it is the arguments that count--not my credentials. In fact, two of my favorite "philosophers" had no such credentials. They were John Stuart Mill, and Malcolm X. As Muhammad Ali once said, "If a mosquito can pull a plow, don't ask how. Hitch him up." To paraphrase, "If a blogger can construct an argument, don't ask how, just present your counter."

My arguments speak for themselves. It really does not matter if one is a derelict or a Harvard scholar--it is the arguments that I am concerned with. I had been allowing anyone to comment, but I decided to only allow comments that stick to the arguments. Red herrings, ad hominem or any other distractions from the arguments will not be allowed--unless it is to illustrate a point.

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