Friday, January 15, 2016

Battle for Civilization: Atheist Propaganda Machine in Action

 photo liberty_zpsqsh5bs7h.jpg
French Revolution, Mary Ann (their "uncle
Sam." Not an atheist symbol because the
Philosophes were not atheists.

John Shook of the center for Inquiry took to the soap box espousing atheist ideology in the guise of science and enlightenment.[1] I have blogged about the center on AW years ago. It's the centerpiece of the atheist propaganda machine, In guise of academic think tank, their bread and butter is exposing hauntings and disproving Psychic phenomena. But their ideological stance, and raison d'ĂȘtre is secularism and it's sought after triumph over religion. Shook says:
In a previous essay that asked the question, " Can Science Eliminate Religious Faith? " I explored whether psychology can disprove God. Specifically, can psychology's explanations for religious belief be used to conclude that all religious belief is unreasonable? The proposed conclusion was negative: only the hard work of advocating secular culture can fully engage religion. Religion may be more "normal" than atheists wants to admit, but "normal" cannot mean "inevitable" or "right". We need the same reminder when appreciating the brain sciences and their investigations into religion. Some religious beliefs are the product of diseased or defective brains, but apparently some religious beliefs are the product of normally functioning brains. Other brain sciences, such as neuroscience and cognitive science, along with some behavioral science, are coming to agree with this view. Religion is not just for crazy people anymore.
The first thing one might say is that this was five and a half years ago. But we look around the country, over the last couple of years, we find the local chapters dispensing the same medicine; in Cleveland, and in L.A.[2][3] He's speaking as though his little 6% set the norm. He preaches the word and the faithful go into all the world and subvert the Gospel.Secondly, he sounds conciliatory at this point but he's going to turn around on it pretty quickly. Sure not all religious people are stupid but we are still going to try and destroy it. What's really absurd about this is he represents maybe 6% as a liberal estimate (Americans) and he's telling 90% they have to pass his scrutiny.

Religion appears as natural as any other human activity, such as agriculture, cooking, or engineering. And, like any other human activity, religion uses the same basic cognitive architecture, available to homo sapiens for at least 50,000 years or more. Both biological and cultural evolution has been quite hospitable to religions. Most religious ideas are not just compatible with evolution, they are positively supportive of our biological and cultural needs. From strengthening social bonds and enforcing moral codes to supplying comforting consolations, religions have found a variety of ways to make themselves useful for human life.
Religion is beneficial but it's usefulness is at an end. We starting the process of evolving out of it. In a previous paragraph he talks about how evolution is social as well as physical. So I suppose the implication is that atheism is helping evolution along. They clearly have no intension of having a peaceful coexistence with religion. Their point is to make religion go away. I've talked about other atheists who think they are an evolutionary leap forward. This must give them a feeling of superiority.

Again he reiterates the same theme religion isn't all bad it has it's uses and it's [art of the evolutionary scheme of things:
No malevolent viruses indeed – religions are more like symbiotic parasites. Their supplemental ideas and institutions demand sacrifices, but they arouse fresh energies in return, and supply a net balance of positive vigor. If religions could not serve as extra engines, like mitochondria in the cell body, they would have never survived so long in humanity. They would have either killed off their hosts in an energy drain, or entirely killed off each other in cultural collisions.
He has to walk a tight rope between their purpose in destroying religion vs. explaining it as a useful adaptation. Of course without accepting a degree of useful ness they can't argue that it's explained by evolution and  brain chemistry. At the same time they can't argue that without admitting it's a useful adaptation. Thus they have to take the obsolescence line.

Shook clearly sees it all as a battle for the culture:
Religion had to be scientifically naturalized, and it is getting naturalized. As many useful explanations for religion emerge from the sciences, scientists feel very confident about their success. "Religion is real," they proclaim, "and we can watch how the brain naturally does it." Some scientists are so impressed by religion's basis in the human brain that they think that the brain must produce religion. Taking this notion to its rhetorical heights, Michael McGuire and Lionel Tiger state that "a god or some equivalent is the product of a normal human brain" and they conclude, "Like it or not, the brain will continue to secrete religion as long as life generates problems" ["Brain Science, God Science" in Skeptical Inquirer (May/June 2010)]. [4]
Religion has to be reduced, the phenomena can be lost in reductionism. The value of religious experience can be denied it just originates in brain chemistry, the life transformation is explained away as just the beneficial aspects of cooperation or what have you. Then he imagines the secular culture card will carry the day:
When it comes to cultural evolution, we are active players on the stage of history, not passive observers awaiting the dramatic climax. We are our brains, in a sense, but we also use our brains.... We can take responsibility for creating alternatives to religion.+998

That is a ridiculous position because it was Christianity that built Western civilization. The vast majority of great thinkers, the development of logic, science, (yes modern science was created by Christians) and most of the great charitable organizations, they played a major role in the labor movement, the started the abolition movement, and they ran the civil rights movement. At a time when Western civilization is clearly in decline, why turn to a philosophy with no track record, that seeks to strip us of our moral, ethical, philosophical, and spiritual moorings?

See my article on "Christianity and Western civilization."


all online sources accessed 1/14/2016

[1] John Shook, "Are Brains Destined For Religion?" Center for inquiry, Aug 25, 2010,  Blog, URL:  accessed 1/14/2016
all quotes by Shook from this article.

[2] Brandon Withrow,  "Brighter Future Through Science Not Religion, Says Cleveland Cahapter of Center For Inquary,"Toledo Faith and Values Religious News, Oct, 7 2014.

[3] Staff, "Feed Your Brain," Center for Inquiry Los Angeles, 1/5/14, blog URLO:

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