The challenges that materialist atheism cannot face effectively
|May 6, 2007||Posted by O'Leary under Intelligent Design|
Our own Gil Dodgen has written some interesting posts on how he ceased to be an atheist, and now I see that columnist Frank Pastore weighs in on the same theme. He lists four challenges to atheism, as follows:
1. Origin of the universe
2. Origin of life
3. Origin of the mind
4. Origin of morality
What I found while researching By Design or by Chance? and The Spiritual Brain is not that materialists have no answers but that their answers are based mainly on promissory materialism (hey folks, we’re still working on it. Give us another few centuries …), when they are not based on merelyÃ‚Â suppressing dissent or promoting foolish ideas to the popular science media.
Anyway, Pastore advises,
Since the pre-Socratics, atheists have been intellectual parasites living off the host of Western Civilization. Able to con-struct so very little of their own that is either true, good, or beautiful, they live on the borrowed capital of their believing intellectual parents. Atheists have been asserting the same basic mechanistic worldview, and with roughly the same suc-cess, for centuries. They sell books and win converts from time to time, sure, especially among those gullible enough to buy the “just popped” thesis. DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be gullible.
Ã‚Â I’d be interested to hear Gil’s reaction.
The thing to keep in mind though, it seems to me, is that the materialist/Darwinist will always come up with an explanation within his system – in the same way and for the same reasons as the Marxist could always come up with an explanation within his system for any given fact.
For example, according to evolutionary psychologists, religion is and is not adaptive – both points of view can be maintained within evolutionary psychology quite comfortably, even though they cancel each other out and imply that the discipline -Ã‚Â if discipline it is -Ã‚Â is not capable of discovering basic, definite information about the origin of religion.
The only point of view that cannot be maintained within standard evolutionary psychology is that religion is evidence of transcendence – that is, it arose because, at one time or another, people really did contact a reality behind the universe.
I am hardly surprised to learn that dying de-spiritualized religious denominations have been flirting with evolutionary psychology; it’s only useful function, so far as I can see, is as a sort of humane lethal injection that puts such institutions out of their collective misery before they mislead anyone else about the nature of spiritual experience. The would-be remaining congregants would invariably be better off somewhere else anyway.
Ã‚Â UPDATE: I can’t bring myself to make this a regular post, so I have simply added it to this post. Go here to get some idea of what Darwinian biology, pursued seriously, can lead to. (Thanks to John A. Davison, a sometimes-banned commenter here at Uncommon Descent, for letting us know.) – Denyse
Denyse O’ Leary’s take on the Economist’s recent relatively reasonable piece on the growing globalization of intelligent design advocacy: I know no reason to think that the elite Economistas are particularly happy with the grassroots uprising against radical materialism, but one really remarkable thing about both this article and Patricia Cohen’s account of a recent debate between conservatives in The New York Times is the slow decline in language bias. Has it begun to dawn on some newsrooms that Darwinism really is a problem and that intelligent design is not going away?
Denyse O’Leary’s take on the media significance of the fact that Michael Behe was asked to write the entry for Richard Dawkins in Time 100.
Pope Benedict vs. a chance origin of the universe – lines from an early lecture.
Why there is no compatibility between traditional communities of any kind and accounts of spiritual beliefs derived from Darwinism.
A most interesting survey of views in evolutionary psychology on religious belief makes quite clear that there is NO room in the evo psycho paradigm for the view that spirituality relates to any fact about the universe. Hence the folly of trying to get traditional communities to support Darwinian evolution. .
On language and mystical experience: can language tell us what is real?
A Washington Post article reveals that 53 percent of university profs have unfavorable feelings toward evangelicals. Is that partly because so many doubt Darwin? (This one is at Access Research Network.)