Zal Cleminson, guitar player most notable for his work with the Sensational Alex Harvey Band (British blues-based/nouveau rock) in the late 60′s and 70′s, posted an essay on the website http://www.weareatheists.com. It was a strong essay, well written (if not slightly pretentious and patronizing in its style), and yet, like most intellectual atheist arguments, was more pomp and circumstance, colorful hypocritical appeals to “reason” and the senses, deft slight-of-hand epistemology than it was rational content. At the root of every atheist is a Platonist with merely a different label for his or her primary consciousness…in their case, the “Laws of Nature”. Once this is realized, it makes their hypocrisy easy to spot and dismantle.
The site, weareatheists.com, in true cowardly atheist form, withered at the slightest and merest prod at its intellectual fallacies, and did not post my response. You see, atheists, like Calvinists despots and Marxist dictators, love to debate when you concede their assumptions. Defy them, refuse them, and demand that they explain the inconsistency of those assumptions first, and they tuck and run with all the vigor of a retreating French army, shouting “off with his head!” and punting their lack of rational epistemology and insane metaphysics into the great cosmic abyss of “mystery” (nod to John Immel for that excellent phrase…I steal from John constantly, because he is a genius metaphysician, and I have admitted that I commit intellectual larceny at his expense often–that is for Sopwith, not that he reads here, LOL).
Of course, the benefit of having a blog site of your own is that when you confront the intellectual shamans and snake oil salesmen with a currency that they cannot comprehend and thus cannot use or spend on themselves–actual reason, that is–and they inevitably run from you waving their hands and saying “We must move along! The market has shifted…after all, location, location, location!!!!” and then refuse to post your comment because they liken truth to a dog’s nose in his own poop, you always have the option of posting it yourself, on your own blog, where you are in charge of the content.
And so, in homage to Paul Dohse’s playful labeling of today’s freedom of written speech as the “Googleberg Press”, I post my response to Zal. I have removed his make up (go to Youtube and search “SAHB”) and revealed the atheistic intellectual void beneath it.
You can access his essay here: http://www.weareatheism.com/zal-cleminson/
“Hmmm…sounds good, but there is just something very, very wrong with Zal’s essay. It is rooted in the hypocrisy so common to men of every “faith”.
Zal makes two suicidal mistakes so very common to atheists. First, argues from a false understanding of the philosophical roots of Christianity and Judaism. Second, he either refuses or is unable to see that the very same epistemological assumptions he rejects in religion are the exact SAME ones he acquiesces in atheism.
First, Zal concedes the Platonist/Augustinian/Calvinist interpretive assumptions which have defined Christianity from roughly 400 AD onward, finding itself ultimately systematized and codified in John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian religion, and then subsequently enforced as a version thereof in every Reformation denomination as a matter of “orthodoxy”. There may be minor differences in “disputable matters”, but the essentials of Protestant Reformation theology are the same throughout the denominations…and trust me, these apples do not stray far from the parent tree of the Roman Catholic Church. St. Augustine is the father of ALL Christian doctrine today. John Calvin, the great protestant reformer himself, quotes Augustine over a thousand times in his Institutes…for those of you who want to argue that Catholic theology holds any salient differences.
The Platonist assumptions, which are nothing more than gnosticism codified, form the backbone of practically all of Western thinking, not merely religious, have nothing to do with the original and true Jewish philosophical roots of Christianity. Gnosticism is what modern Christianity is as it is commonly practiced in its organized form, and refers simply to the “gnosis”: a special knowledge of the “heavens”, not apprehended but somehow divinely bestowed upon the philosopher kings so that they may rule the barbarian masses. In this, Zal’s criticisms are proper and well-founded.
However, contrary to Zal’s false assumptions about the Christian belief system, its very ACTUAL roots–that of the Torah–are formed by ideas which place man’s physical SELF at the very center of all TRUTH and thus morality. Even a cursory reading of the ten commandments and the sermon on the mount describes a world not where man is wholly unable to organized his environment and apprehend moral ideas and practice them, but quite the opposite. Man and his senses form the very crux of reality and goodness, according to the Scriptures. The sanctity of his physical life and body here and NOW (not in some mystical afterlife) is the cornerstone of value.
Indeed, the idea that God becomes a man in the form of Christ, who then is sacrificed, only to rise again, immortal and eternal is the singular and only belief system in the world which so soundly and surely places humanity at the service of its own will and life, even more so than the Enlightenment. Christ’s body is proof that the human being is not, in fact, corrupted at its root…for if God can become flesh, who then can declare flesh evil? His death removed the inevitable consequence of the Jewish moral Law, which– claiming utterly morality apart from man without some divine intervention–must insist on man’s destruction as payment for its debt of absolute TRUTH. Since absolute truth cannot exist outside of man’s self, man can be lead into truth only so far before the inevitable conclusion is realized: man can never hope to attain to a TRUTH outside of himself. Christ’s resurrection in turn is proof that the root GOODNESS of man’s SELF (proclaimed by God in the Garden of Eden and never recanted by Him anywhere in Scripture…thus, rendering the doctrine of Original Sin an obvious lie)…the root goodness of man’s self is once again THE singular plumb line for TRUTH and therefore GOOD.
The thing about atheists is that they never see the utter hypocrisy in their own assumptions. Their knowledge and belief system is informed by the exact same philosophical foundation as Christianity in its Augustinian/Calvinist/Lutheran/Anglican form. The idea is this: that man is not really himself but is merely the extension (or the depraved/evil cosmic affront to) some kind of mutually exclusive Primary Consciousness inexorably beyond himself and his understanding. Their–the atheists–notions on life and evolution are informed by the wholly Platonist, and therefore NON-scientific and but rather philosophical “Laws of Nature”, which “govern” and “guide”.
This kind of thinking results in only two epistemological and metaphysical outcomes for the atheist: 1. They are fatalistic determinists, assuming that we are all nothing more than pre-programmed entities carrying out some inevitable cosmic code of sorts…and in which case, even our very thoughts are pre-determined extensions of the “force” of nature, and so claiming that YOU know a TRUTH or can have an idea is rank nonsense because there is no YOU in the equation); or 2. They cry “mystery!” and then punt their premises and knowledge into the great vacuum of the cosmos…shelved, and best not to be worried about.
Yeah. [wryly] Guess who else does this with startling and disturbing regularity as they sacrifice humanity upon the altar of “Shrug…what are human beings anyway? Space dust and tools of “god”"…yep, you guessed it. Those dastardly Christians.
The Laws of Physics are a Platonist joke as an ACTUAL force of “nature”, existing outside of man’s conceptualizing mind. These “laws” can have only one inevitable conclusion, and if you think about it long enough, it isn’t really that hard to figure it out. The laws of nature (which Zal concedes in his essay) are merely another kind of Plato’s “forms”…a Primary Consciousness which can never be truly observed or understood because it cannot in fact exist within the scope of man’s physical reality. At the heart of the Laws of Physics are dimensionless particles…these are described as “point particles” which means that they are actually only singularities of infinity (which is a contradiction in terms…but science can’t be wrong, heaven forbid!). Which means that at the end of the day, there is NO value to found in them. Thus the Standard Model leads us into an infinite and meaningless cycle of oblivion: particle sustained in existence by some force (law of nature), and force revealed by some particle, which in turn is sustained by some force, which in turn is revealed by some particle, and so on and so forth into the oblivion of nature’s grand unknowable mystery.
What they, the atheists and their chums, the physicists (priests of Science) can never explain is how the infinite particles which are infinitely guided by some infinite force can actually EXIST..because by definition something infinite cannot be qualified, ever, by any notion whatsoever. It cannot even be said to exist.
Thus, the problem with atheists is that they have no argument for consciousness nor the senses, the very cornerstones of their supposed “enlightenment”. They cannot explain how unconscious space dust is eventually revealed as a conscious, observing mankind which can then be in a position to declare the “truth” of atheism or any notion or idea whatsoever. If YOU aren’t really YOU (your consciousness is an illusion…or delusion?), then YOU can’t know anything, by definition.
Which means at the end of the day they concede the very premises they pretend to despise: there is “something out there” making it all happen, but we don’t know what. So, best to just believe and get on with it.
Such is the state of our “rationally minded” postmodernist atheist.