Posted: Sep 16, 2014 2:10 am
by Ven. Kwan Tam Woo
Goodness gracious, I’ve never seen such a prodigious misuse of straw! Old MacDonald would be furious!

This is a problem with atheists. For instance, some atheists get very irate when Christians point out that atheism leads to moral relativism or nihilism. it did when those nihilistic atheists hijacked commercial airplanes and flew them into skyscrapers because they thought it would guarantee them a place in an eternal paradise. Oh, wait….

Yet other atheists candidly admit that atheism leads to moral relativism or even moral nihilism. But having made that admission, they think the debate should proceed as if that didn’t mark a turning point in the debate.

And some Christians candidly admit that believing in Jesus means that you should bomb abortion clinics and murder homosexuals. What’s his point here?

They think it was sporting of them to concede that point, and it’s rather unsportsmanlike for Christians to keep dragging that back into every debate.

It’s not unsportsmanlike; it’s moronic, hypocritical and disingenuous.

If there is no objective morality, then why are they arguing for anything?

Oh gee, I don’t know. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that we live in a world of cause-and-effect along with other people and living creatures?

Likewise, atheists not only admit, but insist on the fact that evolution is blind. It has no prevision or purpose. Brains weren’t made to think. Yet they still act as if their brains were made to think.

He fundamentally misunderstands the concept of “purpose”; it is something which derives from mechanism, rather than preceding it. Brains weren’t made to do anything, they evolved to fulfil various survival functions in response to dynamic circumstances.

Likewise, they admit that what we value has no intrinsic value. Evolution has programmed us to project value on certain things. But that’s an illusion.

Define “intrinsic”. Not having “intrinsic” value is not the same as having no value at all. We value things for practical reasons, i.e. because they are conducive towards survival, reproduction, social harmony, a sense of security, and/or pleasurable feeling.

We value love. We value our parents, kids, spouse, and friends. Yet there’s nothing objectively right or good about loving friends and family. That’s just brain chemistry. The indifferent effect of a thoughtless process conditioning us to feel that way.

See above. Again the author is putting the purpose cart before the mechanism horse. Similarly he is accusing rationalists of believing in a “thoughtless process” when in fact this process gives rise to thought as an emergent phenomenon. The author is effectively admitting that he is scared of deconstructing his own thinking process because he is under the misapprehension that it will necessarily invalidate his thoughts and emotions. Even if this process weren’t “thoughtless” (as he misinterprets it), how does he propose that we explain the essential underlying “thoughtfulness” of that process let alone conclude that said thoughtfulness has “intrinsic” value?

Pull its string and the doll cries. It doesn’t cry because there’s something worth crying about.

He’s overlooking the fact that humans are a tad more complex than dolls.

Atheists cry when a loved one dies. Yet they can retrace the process. They can see the pull-string. They can see evolution tugging their string. They don’t cry because the death of their loved one actually means anything. They cry because blind evolution pulled their string. A doll’s prerecorded cry at the demise of another doll.

I wonder if the author gets any satisfaction out of films. I mean after all, he can rationally retrace the process by which the films are constructed and the characters developed…

They can see evolution take the doll apart. They can see evolution operating on themselves. They dissect themselves. Peel back the layers. Cloth. Metal. Plastic. A pile of parts. The more you look the less you find.

Yep, he’s scared of looking too closely. He’s effectively arguing that ignorance is bliss.

But there is no “rest of his life” to plan for. At most, he can make funeral arrangements. Pick a coffin. Pick a tombstone. Prepay the florist. Buy a cemetery plot. Choose an epitaph.

Or maybe he can go bungy-jumping, or sky-diving, or reconcile old disputes, or ensure that he leaves a worthwhile legacy to his loved ones? It is a sad reflection of the author’s own pessimistic mindset that he seems to think that the imminence of one’s own irreversible non-existence would somehow make one less motivated to get the most out of life than believing that one has an eternity of existence ahead of them to look forward to.