Atheists worship themselves? Come again?

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Atheists worship themselves? Come again?

#1  Postby blasphemer_number1 » Jun 08, 2010 3:40 am

So I was listening to the Janet Parshall show on the drive home and was hit by yet another idiotic comment; this time it came from a caller instead of the person being interviewed: today it was (Peter Hitchens; WTF? I guess his brother got all the brains.)

Anyhow, the caller posed the question: "Why can't atheists see that they worship each other and in an indirect sense that they worship Satan?" The caller said that it was so clear to him, that he couldn't imagine why atheists couldn't see it too.


From the moody radio website:
Hour 2 - Peter Hitchens
Peter Hitchens is a conservative British author, broadcaster, journalist and currently a regular columnist for the London Mail on Sunday. He is also the brother of prominent atheist Christopher Hitchens. Peter has recently returned to the Christian faith and assails several of the favorite arguments of the anti-God battalions and makes the case against fashionable atheism. Peter reveals the reasons why an honest assessment of Atheism cannot sustain disbelief in God. In the process, he provides hope for all believers.


If you'd like to listen you can here. The part that I mentioned above happens almost precisely at 40 minutes into the show.

Here is my transcription of the question and Hitchen's response:

Jeff from California: "My comment has to do with the fact that I see all of mankind as being designed by God to worship. Now those that are atheists end up worshiping themselves or indirectly, Satan, and everybody in between that and us triune God believers; the one god, the triune manifestation; all of us, all of those in between, they're all busily worshiping whomever they choose, but in the end, we all worship, and the atheists seem to miss that point. They don't see that they're worshiping themselves or indirectly, Satan; and uh, I, I just uh, it always has amazed me that they can overlook something that seems so completely obvious to me."

Peter Hitchens: "Well... well I think I'm not sure they overlook it, I think they rather enjoy worshiping themselves. I think that has to be part of the explanation of that, and indeed worshiping each other. They are certainly taking in each other's washing quite a lot; they all promote each other's books and support each other's efforts. But also they do, as I say, tend to have extraordinarily high opinions of themselves; and I don't think they find this particularly irksome, or worrying, or embarrassing, or disturbing; you and I might agree that they ought to, but to believe you would have to accept in a fairly powerful way, the Christian teaching about humility, and this is one of the things which they don't accept; and which don't like, and they will repeatedly claim that they are just as good as Christians; and in no doubt in terms of 'helping old ladies to cross roads ' type things they are. There are other questions where it isn't so, where they simply aren't moved by the same principles or the same desires, and they do, they do, as you say, worship themselves, and they also worship power."


Peter makes some statements about Christopher's position about 10m 30s into the show that, to my mind illustrates his ignorance regarding that he places the burden of proof on the disbeliever: regarding Christopher's position he says, "there's also a very firm belief that there's absolutely no need for the nonbeliever to show that his nonbelief is justified. He says the default position of the human mind should be that there is no god, and because there is no evidence of it, and therefore he is not required to provide any proof of his proposition, he can just assume that it is so and anyone who disagrees with him is obviously blindingly wrong."

I think he's honestly pushing his book and this show seems to be by believers for believers and lacking objective reason. I still don't know why believers think that nonbelief is a meaningless void where atheists would dread getting out of bed in the morning; patently ridiculous, IMHO. I was reluctant to call it a Christian stroke-fest, but I don't know of a better way of describing it.
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Re: Atheists worship themselves? Come again?

#2  Postby Mononoke » Jun 08, 2010 3:53 am

What the hell went wrong with that family
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Re: Atheists worship themselves? Come again?

#3  Postby keypad5 » Jun 08, 2010 4:26 am

Urgh.. people who believe they are the magnum opus of the creator of the universe, and who believe they have a personal relationship with said creator of the universe, should really not accuse anyone else of self-worship. :coffee:
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Re: Atheists worship themselves? Come again?

#4  Postby HughMcB » Jun 08, 2010 4:51 am

^^ :nod:
"So we're just done with phrasing?"
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Re: Atheists worship themselves? Come again?

#5  Postby Sophie T » Jun 08, 2010 4:51 am

I think this statement right here really underscores the problem:

But also they do, as I say, tend to have extraordinarily high opinions of themselves; and I don't think they find this particularly irksome, or worrying, or embarrassing, or disturbing; you and I might agree that they ought to,

It seems to be very disturbing to Christians when non-Christians don't share their view that every human being is a filthy bastard, worthy of eternal damnation, and in desperate need of salvation. This is troublesome to the Christian because if we refuse to acknowledge what dirtbags we are, we won't have a proper appreciation of the concept of God's mercy, the idea that we would be lucky to get a few crumbs from the table of the good Lord (or from the good Christian, for that matter.) If we fail to accept the Christian's diagnosis that we're sick, then the Christian won't be able to peddle the proposed cure.

There is something very hypocritical about a Christian's complaint that non-Christians aren't humble enough. Christians believe that simply by way of choosing the right religion, they should be and will be rewarded with eternal paradise while those who choose the wrong religion should be and will be subjected to eternal damnation. What could be more arrogant than that?
It matters not how strait the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.
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Re: Atheists worship themselves? Come again?

#6  Postby Quip » Jun 08, 2010 7:31 am

blasphemer_number1 wrote:Here is my transcription of the question and Hitchen's response:

Jeff from California: "My comment has to do with the fact that I see all of mankind as being designed by God to worship. Now those that are atheists end up worshiping themselves or indirectly, Satan, and everybody in between that and us triune God believers; the one god, the triune manifestation; all of us, all of those in between, they're all busily worshiping whomever they choose, but in the end, we all worship, and the atheists seem to miss that point. They don't see that they're worshiping themselves or indirectly, Satan; and uh, I, I just uh, it always has amazed me that they can overlook something that seems so completely obvious to me."


Classic Psychologists' Fallacy on so many levels, given away by its closing statement. Does Jeff from California really expect us to throw up our arms and declare "Holy crap, it's obvious to Jeff that a god exists and that it's the god of Abraham and that this god wrote the old and new testaments in the bible and is worthy of worship! And because it's obvious to Jeff, that must mean it's true!" It's obvious by the fact that we can't see radio waves with the naked eye that radio waves don't exist, so obviously Jeff is nuts for talking to an inanimate phone! Either that, or at some point he had to consider the possibility that maybe not everything that's obvious is necessarily true.

Peter Hitchens wrote:Well... well I think I'm not sure they overlook it, I think they rather enjoy worshiping themselves.


This one is sort of a stretched-out Psychologists' Fallacy combined with a False Analogy and Question Begging (all in a single sentence!), where Peter Hitchens first assumes that because he worships, everyone worships. Peter Hitchens worships a god, but atheists don't believe in a god, so what do atheists worship? The only intelligence left is other humans! So... atheists must worship other humans! QED!

It must be difficult for him to imagine someone being more sane than himself by, I don't know, not worshipping anything? What would he say about his charicature of atheists if there were a serious autotheism epidemic? "See those people over there bowing their heads and praying to each other? They're worshipping themselves! See those atheists over there not doing the same thing? They're also worshipping themselves!"

Peter Hitchens wrote:They are certainly taking in each other's washing quite a lot; they all promote each other's books and support each other's efforts.


Didn't Peter Hitchens read the segment from Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion entitled "I'm an atheist, but..."?

Peter Hitchens wrote:But also they do, as I say, tend to have extraordinarily high opinions of themselves; and I don't think they find this particularly irksome, or worrying, or embarrassing, or disturbing; you and I might agree that they ought to, but to believe you would have to accept in a fairly powerful way, the Christian teaching about humility, and this is one of the things which they don't accept; and which don't like, and they will repeatedly claim that they are just as good as Christians; and in no doubt in terms of 'helping old ladies to cross roads ' type things they are.


What? We have high opinions of ourselves, yet we have to elevate ourselves to being equally as good as christians? Does that even make sense? For us to have high opinions of ourselves, wouldn't we have to believe we're better than christians? Or is Peter Hitchens implying that atheists aren't as good as christians? What was that about christian humility?

Humility has its place, and that's before evidence and statistics come in to say, hey, atheists are, in fact, more moral than christians! Of course, evidence is only for those who have enough humility to presume their personal opinions may be biased. For Peter Hitchens, however, it seems to be optional.

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Re: Atheists worship themselves? Come again?

#7  Postby redwhine » Jun 08, 2010 8:09 am

Quip wrote: Humility has its place, and that's before evidence and statistics come in to say, hey, atheists are, in fact, more moral than christians! Of course, evidence is only for those who have enough humility to presume their personal opinions may be biased. For Peter Hitchens, however, it seems to be optional.

Humility is arguably synonymous with modesty. One of my favourite put-downs is this...

“Mr. Attlee is a very modest man. Indeed he has a lot to be modest about.” - Winston Churchill

:clap:

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Re: Atheists worship themselves? Come again?

#8  Postby tsninjapirate » Jun 08, 2010 2:40 pm

Please let there be a debate of the Hitchens brothers!
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Re: Atheists worship themselves? Come again?

#9  Postby blasphemer_number1 » Jun 08, 2010 11:43 pm

tsninjapirate wrote:Please let there be a debate of the Hitchens brothers!


Check out google video/Youtube. I think they have debated on a couple of occasions.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoKxS9kzVOw

Christopher: "It may be not be said that there is no god. It may be said that there is no reason to think that there is one. That was the situation after Lucretius, and Democritus and the original anti-theistic thinkers began their critique of religion began."
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Re: Atheists worship themselves? Come again?

#10  Postby tsninjapirate » Jun 09, 2010 7:29 pm

blasphemer_number1 wrote:
tsninjapirate wrote:Please let there be a debate of the Hitchens brothers!


Check out google video/Youtube. I think they have debated on a couple of occasions.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoKxS9kzVOw

Christopher: "It may be not be said that there is no god. It may be said that there is no reason to think that there is one. That was the situation after Lucretius, and Democritus and the original anti-theistic thinkers began their critique of religion began."


I saw all of that. brilliant stuff - except the bits where Peter starts talking.
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Re: Atheists worship themselves? Come again?

#11  Postby redwhine » Jun 10, 2010 8:32 am

tsninjapirate wrote:I saw all of that. brilliant stuff - except the bits where Peter starts talking.

+1

(I wonder if Christopher's mom was cheating on Christopher's dad when Peter was conceived. :think: )
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Re: Atheists worship themselves? Come again?

#12  Postby babel » Jun 10, 2010 8:37 am

redwhine wrote:
tsninjapirate wrote:I saw all of that. brilliant stuff - except the bits where Peter starts talking.

+1

(I wonder if Christopher's mom was cheating on Christopher's dad when Peter was conceived. :think: )
Or the other way around. :)
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Re: Atheists worship themselves? Come again?

#13  Postby redwhine » Jun 10, 2010 8:43 am

babel wrote:
redwhine wrote:
tsninjapirate wrote:I saw all of that. brilliant stuff - except the bits where Peter starts talking.

+1

(I wonder if Christopher's mom was cheating on Christopher's dad when Peter was conceived. :think: )
Or the other way around. :)

I didn't say which man was her husband! :naughty: ;)

...but it works either way; just so long as the fathers were different. :smug:
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Re: Atheists worship themselves? Come again?

#14  Postby babel » Jun 10, 2010 8:45 am

Must have given a different meaning to the 'cheating on' than what you really meant. Damn my social hardwiring. :D
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Re: Atheists worship themselves? Come again?

#15  Postby Doubtdispelled » Jun 10, 2010 8:54 am

Sophie T wrote:I think this statement right here really underscores the problem:

But also they do, as I say, tend to have extraordinarily high opinions of themselves; and I don't think they find this particularly irksome, or worrying, or embarrassing, or disturbing; you and I might agree that they ought to,

It seems to be very disturbing to Christians when non-Christians don't share their view that every human being is a filthy bastard, worthy of eternal damnation, and in desperate need of salvation. This is troublesome to the Christian because if we refuse to acknowledge what dirtbags we are, we won't have a proper appreciation of the concept of God's mercy, the idea that we would be lucky to get a few crumbs from the table of the good Lord (or from the good Christian, for that matter.) If we fail to accept the Christian's diagnosis that we're sick, then the Christian won't be able to peddle the proposed cure.

There is something very hypocritical about a Christian's complaint that non-Christians aren't humble enough. Christians believe that simply by way of choosing the right religion, they should be and will be rewarded with eternal paradise while those who choose the wrong religion should be and will be subjected to eternal damnation. What could be more arrogant than that?

:clap: Nice post, Sophie!
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Re: Atheists worship themselves? Come again?

#16  Postby redwhine » Jun 10, 2010 8:56 am

babel wrote:Must have given a different meaning to the 'cheating on' than what you really meant. Damn my social hardwiring. :D

I could have just said that at least one of them is a bastard, but I'm too nice to do that.

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Re: Atheists worship themselves? Come again?

#17  Postby Eager non-theist » Sep 26, 2010 9:25 am

I can honestly say that I love myself more than the religious love their gods :angel:.
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Re: Atheists worship themselves? Come again?

#18  Postby Paul1 » Sep 26, 2010 10:05 am

You'd think as Atheists we would have confidence in ourselves, but that isn't always the case, we're still human.

I don't think I worship anything, although I have a strong admiration for nature and Steven Fry. I wouldn't be giving money to Steven Fry so that he can continue his prominent "Atheist Worship"
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Re: Atheists worship themselves? Come again?

#19  Postby chairman bill » Sep 26, 2010 10:11 am

I am an atheist, yet worship Kylie's bum. How does this factor into the argument?
Note, might not be considered 'worksafe'
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Re: Atheists worship themselves? Come again?

#20  Postby blasphemer_number1 » Sep 26, 2010 4:28 pm

chairman bill wrote:I am an atheist, yet worship Kylie's bum. How does this factor into the argument?
Note, might not be considered 'worksafe'
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Before discounting the distinct possibility of being photoshopped, I was going to offer that at least you worship something real. :wink:
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