Atheists on Digg Espouse Religious Intolerance

Wednesday, March 19, 2008 | Labels: , | |

Yesterday an individual posted an article on Digg that pointed to a study suggesting the religious are better at coping with the setbacks of life than atheists. The majority of atheistic responses were profoundly intolerant and every individual should take a closer look into what these atheists posit over the religious viewpoint.

My generation has arrived, if not only in small doses, at the embracing of intellectual elitism. Just days earlier I had discussed the idea that my generation has embraced the idea that only those with superior intellect are capable of making the proper moral judgments for society. The supposedly "unintelligent" are no longer capable of making moral judgments for society, only for themselves. This is what is commonly argued by the atheist, "I don't mind if a man wants to be religious, just don't push it on me." Suggesting that the laws and morals of a society are only to be determined by the intellectually superior and not by the society that may embrace belief in God.

The following statements were made in response to the study posted on Digg. I encourage everyone who has an interest to view the post themselves and form their own opinion - and see the majority of comments were completely disrespective of those who embrace religious beliefs. As an important note, these comments come from the same individuals who argue each culture has the freedom to establish their own ideas of right and wrong, have the freedom to worship as they please and espouses that everyone should have tolerance for those with opposing viewpoints including other cultures and beliefs.

"Ignorance IS Bliss" (+519 Diggs)

This comment posits the intellect of the religious over the irreligious and was posted countless times. How ironic that even the most prestigious atheistic scientists will argue that God cannot be scientifically proven or disproven. That the natural scientific method by which science is conducted can in no way prove a supernatural - it can only point to it or away from it, which at that point becomes a philosophical argument, not a scientific one. It is not ignorant to believe in God, it is just not embracing the scientific method alone. Belief in God is a combination of both science and philosophy.

"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan (+230 Diggs)

This is purely a philosophical argument. The universe 'as it really is' is based upon the presupposition that science is infallable and has the answer to all questions of the universe. The arguer suggests they have ultimate knowledge of the universe to make the argument that they can perceive the universe 'as it really is'. The irony is that this statement is just as "ignorant" as believing in God by their standards, it can be no more proven or disproven of being true by science as a philosophy than the existence of God.

"when I was a kid, the thought of Santa Clause made me happy, but that didn't make him real..." (+117 Diggs)

Although his argument is correct he undermined the entire point of the article, that in reality individuals with religious beliefs are better at handling emotional setbacks than the irreligious. Instead, he used this study as an opportunity to compare God to Santa Clause which is known as a straw-man argument where you place the opposing viewpoint in a ridiculous position and then knock down that position. The article wasn't attempting to prove God, it was attempting to study statistical correlations.

The irony is that an often coined argument by the athiest against the theist is "Why ought I give up my happiness in this life for eternal bliss in the afterlife." This study is illustrative that often times the religious are happier than the atheists in both this and the afterlife, debunking their original argument. Therefore, they play this contradiction off as "ignorance is bliss", refusing to acknowledge that the religious person can have more happiness than them in this life as well as their eternal bliss in the afterlife.

"The fact that a believer is happier than a sceptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one." -- Bernard Shaw (+404 Diggs)

This is a disproving of correlation argument, not a disproving of God argument. It is just pointing out the fact that happiness does not equate to truth. This is ultimately a true argument, but the argument itself posits a believer equivalent to a drunk man and an atheist equivalent to a sober man. In effect, it places the atheist at a superior position on a heirarchy than the believer. Believers, therefore, are below atheists in intellectual capacity and judgment. Once again, intellectual elitism at work.

There are many others but I believe the point has been established. It is such that the atheist posits themselves in an intellectually superior position than the theist, and while in many instances embracing a moral doctrine of relativism (which suggests everyone is free to establish their own beliefs and morals) they are quick to counter by saying if those beliefs are invalid by their tests - they cannot be used in society and they are "ignorant".

Why is intellectual elitism dangerous? I have discussed it in a previous post, it is the same framework of thinking that Hitler and his kind used in their establishment of the Utopian society. It suggested that the best interests of society were best left in the hands of the elite few than society itself. I hope that the atheist pays close attention to the contradictions that lie within the balance of freedoms and determination of societies best interests by science alone.

Craig Chamberlin

Related Articles: