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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Continuing War on Atheism

by folkbum

Almost two years ago, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published a column by "community columnist" Dale Reich who said, essentially, that he didn't understand why atheists weren't hedonistically indulging every bacchanalian impulse all the time. If we're just animals, he reckoned, it shouldn't matter if we're moral or not.

A the time, I wrote that Reich was full of crap:
By writing that "God is the basis for good and evil," [Reich] dismisses any notion that there may be a source of morality and ethics derived from the non-divine. This is one of the most common fallacies presented by those who, for example, do not want evolution taught in schools. Somehow, they believe, knowing that life's development was due to a fortuitous confluence of physics, chemistry, and biology--rather than due to divine intervention--somehow makes life meaningless. It does not. The prisons are not stocked full of the irreligious (despite Reich's clumsy attempt to equate atheists and sociopaths); the atheists are not the ones committing suicide en masse; the non-believers did not fly the planes into the World Trade Center.
What do I see over the weekend? Another, new "community columnist" making the same stupid argument (technically, he's writing about evolution, not atheism, but the subtext is clear).

So to you, Philip Bramblet, I say, go back and read what I wrote two years ago. Just because you don't have a far-enough evolved frontal lobe to understand that morality does not only come from religion does not mean you can impugn the conscience and decency of atheists and those who believe in evolution. To claim, as you do, that atheists ought not condemn rape or murder, is outrageous and insulting.

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