The 10 Commandments of Materialistic Naturalism

Commenter Mike weighs in on mynym’s recent post. I thought it deserved a post of its own.


Another thing I find typical (and the thread you linked to is typical of this) is that it’s always the Darwinist who wants to bring up Creationism and Genesis in an ID debate. Usually this is accompanied by accusations of trying to enforce your “religion” on them. Sooner or later they will bring it up and accuse you. It’s practically inevitable. Then it’s always followed by some form of: “Oh Yeah? Well, my god is better than your god! Watch me crawl back into her womb now so I don’t have to listen to you”.

Darwinists have no problem allowing themselves to admit “design” and “purpose”, as long as it’s attributed to Mommy Nature, and not any other god. The fact is that evolution is a theological pursuit. It is a creation myth, not science. That’s why it’s defended with such religious fervor, and why blasphemers are to be condemned:

The 10 Commandments of Materialistic Naturalism:

I am Mommy Nature, Who Self-Ascended from the Great Nothing, who created all that is seen and unseen (though the unseen existeth not), who affirms your randomly-generated illusion of the miniscule portion of reality you think you perceive.

Behold:

1. Thou Shalt Love Me with all thy brain synapse firings and chemical reactions (for that is what Love is)

2. Thou Shalt recognize No gods before Me

3. Thou Shalt make an idol of DNA, and shall worship thy genome as an omnipotent agent of “progress”

4. Thou Shalt refer to me as “nurturing” and “clever”, and shall attribute “purpose” to me, though I do have No mind or being

5. Thou Shalt Not attribute to thyself any rationale for rationality, for thou were formed blindly, and by accident

6. Thou Shalt live a Lie, as if concepts of Mind do have inherent meaning, and are not the chemical processes they are, for thou art matter only

7. Thou Shalt believe in Non-Existence, and shall enthusiastically embrace it upon thy Death

8. Thou Shalt cite thy Imagination as Evidence of My Work, and shall do this by drawing fancy pictures of hypothetical ape-like creatures connected by arrows

9. Thou Shalt Believe in Chance, and not refer to it as Ignorance

10. Thou Shalt Not Believe in Moral Absolutes, yet thou shalt also refer to this belief as Good

Behold, I shall send you Messiah, the Holy Scientist who will reveal all, Redeeming all believers and Condemning all Blasphemers to lobotomies!

The Psychology of Atheism – A Study of Masked Anguish

Paul Vitz – The Psychology of Atheism (MP3 Audio)

Link above is a long audio presentation by Paul Vitz, author of Faith of the Fatherless – The Psychology of Atheism (hat tip Atheism is Dead). This is an excellent presentation in which Vitz presents an historical account of psychology’s history regarding psychological underpinnings of religion. However, the main thrust of the presentation is discussing psychological aspects of atheism. Vitz discusses his theory in a compassionate and caring manner, and also discusses his own experiences as an atheist and the experiences of his wife.

Atheists are 'good' people.

Psychology Today has a hit job on religious beliefs, which is not surprising given their love for Darwin and all things atheistic.(1)

Despite a widespread perception that religious people should behave more ethically in general, researchers find little evidence that religious people either think or behave more ethically (1). One study, found that atheists were significantly less likely than religious students to cheat on an exam (2).

Psychologists find that religious belief stunts moral development, because it commits people to a dogma, or formula, rather than working out ethical solutions for themselves (the highest stage of moral development known as post-conventional morality).

Fundamentalist religions may undermine moral reasoning. People who “know” that they are saved, may be relatively unconcerned about who is hurt by their actions in this world. A Roper survey found that after being “born again,” people are more likely to drive drunk, use illegal drugs, and engage in illicit sex (3).

I’m not much on comparing people morally, because the Bible teaches that the notion of a good person is a myth. However, one must consider the agenda of the atheist writing this article on Psychology Today. Yes, I make that prediction even though the author did not state his position on God. The author engages in cherry picking–picking out only that research which supports his position. He did not even consider that governmental systems based on atheist philosophy have resulted in the most catastrophic loss of human life in history.(2)

What the author is trying to do is to say that religious folk are psychologically immature and don’t know how to engage in moral reasoning, whereas, atheists are more developed, psychologically and intellectually. I’ll just briefly include some research that is counter to the claims of Dr. Barber:

1). Religious beliefs is associated with lower levels of delinquency and drug/alcohol use in adolescents
2). Religious beliefs are associated with increased self-control. This is a comprehensive review article on decades of research. Other notable findings included are that religious beliefs result in increased lifespan (25-30%), less likely to use drugs/alcohol at all ages and engage in more health promoting behavior, have higher levels of psychological well-being, more likely to stay married and be more satisfied with the marital relationship, and is associated with higher grade point averages.

Does this sound like psychological immaturity or stunted moral development? Not in the least. Here’s to hoping that Dr. Barber will do a little more homework the next time he decides to write a hit job on religion.

References:
(1). Are religious people more ethical in their conduct? Psychology Today, N. Barber, 4/09
(2). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Black_Book_of_Communism

Some Applause for Richard Dawkins

You never thought you would hear me say something like this, but I’m saying it now. Richard Dawkins deserves some credit for his most recent book, A Devil’s Chaplain. Now, I haven’t even read the book, and probably won’t unless I can find a used copy somewhere. But, I just wanted to give Dawkins his due credit for the title of his book, because this is truth in advertising. I’m guessing that he wants Christians to hate him, and feels he is poking them with this type of book and title. But really, I do have some compassion for Dawkins. A person does not have the intensity of emotions he has on a topic without a great internal struggle of some sort.

Creation on the Web has a review of his most recent tome, and there are some interesting quotes from the review:

Dawkins’ sermons fall apart under close scrutiny, and further, he never even considers deeper philosophical problems underlying his method of argumentation. When Dawkins talks of religions fomenting wars, how does he know on a naturalistic basis that there is anything at all undesirable about war?16 How does he know that there is anything inherently good in ‘truth’? In fact, as Alvin Plantinga has shown,17 there are reasons to doubt whether human thought is even capable of corresponding to reality within a naturalistic framework—the ultimate reductio ad absurdum of naturalism.18

As the late Greg Bahnsen noted,

‘One does not decide whether to form some epistemological viewpoint and theoretical basis for certainty or not; he simply chooses whether he shall do it self-consciously and well.’19

Dawkins has an epistemology. He believes that he is capable of knowing true information by means of the scientific method, but he is entirely without a foundation in naturalism for such a belief. Christians who presuppose Scripture, on the other hand, have epistemological warrant for belief in efficacious reason and science, on the grounds that God is logical and made an orderly universe.20 Small wonder, then, that Dawkins avoids the subject and prefers a surface-level polemical approach. The biblical apologetic not only can withstand his individual ad hoc ‘empirical’ arguments, but even undercuts his entire basis of argument by showing that in order to have a reason to trust reason itself, we must presuppose the God of Scripture.21

Some of the reasoning here is similar to things we’ve discussed previously on this blog.  One can sincerely hope that his intense disdain for all authority, other than materialist science, can soften with time.  All things are possible with God.

Source: Secular Sermons.  Creation on the Web.

The Naturalistic Myth of Creation

Over at Atheism is Dead, there are two very well written recent posts on the creation myths of atheists by means of cosmology. They are fairly long posts, but worth the time to read.

In the Beginning… Cosmology, Part I – The Pre Big Bang Scenario
In the Beginning… Cosmology, Part II – Book, Chapter and Multi-Verse

Does referencing the Creator inhibit science?

Many materialists (atheists and theistic evolutionists most often) argue that materialistic philosophy is key to scientific advancement. If any ideas of Creationists are allowed to even be referenced, then scientific progress will halt and people will die. There will be mass and widespread calamitous events, and we will return to the Dark Ages.

Mphuthumi Ntabeni at The Southern Cross writes:

Newton, Faraday, Maxwell and Copernicus referred to the Creator in their scientific writings. No one accused them of being unscientific because of that. There’s no rule that compels science to have a materialist outlook, it’s just an incident of history. (1)

I have yet to see any evidence that convinces me that scientific progress will be inhibited in any way by referencing notions of a designer or even God. Nor have I seen any evidence that is not just as easily explained from an ID or even a Creationist perspective as compared to a naturalistic evolution perspective. So far, I see Creationism as having the most explanatory power and ID as focusing on narrow range of observations and scientific phenomena. Both ID and Creation Science are scientific disciplines.

I must also say that I have yet to see how the theory of naturalistic evolution, on a macro scale, has ever contributed to applied science. The concept of abiogenesis has not contributed to applied science. The Big Bang Theory has not contributed to applied science. In short, the notion that Godless science leads to progress has no legs to stand on. Perhaps it will evolve those legs in the next several billions of years, but I won’t be holding my breath.

(1). My case for intelligent design, The Southern Cross, Mphuthumi Ntabeni, Nov. 9, 2008

Intelligent Design does not entail a belief in God

Denyse O’Leary recently wrote about an ongoing debate (December 7-8, 2008) about Intelligent Design vs. evolution. (1)

Atheist philosopher Bradley Morton said in an ID the Future Podcast:

“I actually find some of the intelligent design arguments at least somewhat plausible, and at least taking seriously within academia, and I’m unhappy with the unfair and false criticisms that a lot of my fellow philosophers and academics have given of Intelligent Design. I’m also, for the record, unhappy with some of the Intelligent Design arguments. I think that, even though some of them are wrong, they could be given better than current Intelligent Design proponents are giving them….” (2)

What I take from this debate is that, one might support the perspective of ID, scientifically, without being logically required to believe in God. Creationists on the other hand, may point to the scientific perspective of ID and note that this supports the existence of the God of the Bible.

Some atheistic evolutionists are quick to point out that a belief in the supposedly scientific perspective of evolution does not have anything to do with belief in God. Others (e.g., Dick Dawkins and his ilk purport that atheism is entailed by the ‘truth’ of evolutionary science).

As Dr. Morton writes on his website:

The doctrine of intelligent design has been maligned by atheists, but even thought I’m an atheist, I’m of the opinion that the arguments for intelligent design are stronger than most realize. The goal of this book is to try to get people to take intelligent design seriously. I maintain that it is legitimate to view intelligent design as science, that there are somewhat plausible arguments for the existence of a cosmic designer, and that intelligent design should be taught in public school classes. (3)

(1). Straws in the wind: Atheists and agnostics support constructive debate on design
(2). http://intelligentdesign.podOmatic.com/entry/2008-11-06T09_16_15-08_00
(3). ID – Bradley Monton