Roman Around

combating liberalism and other childish notions

THE REASON FOR THE SEASON?

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 1, 2009

Atheism is for sale again this year, not unlike lasik eye surgery or appetite suppressant pills … and the American Humanist Association (AHA) is buying.

God bless capitalism, so to speak.

If you live or work in Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago, Los Angeles or San Francisco keep your eyes open, because godlessness is coming to a transit system near you.

Last year, you may recall, the AHA became what the Associated Press accurately called the “latest combatant in the Christmas wars” launching their anti-God campaign in  one city – Washington, D.C. – plastering signs that read, “Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness’ sake” on city buses.

Apparently it was a wonderfully successful endeavor, because this year, they’re going national.

The 2009 signs will read: “No God? No problem! Be good for Goodness’ Sake.”

From the AHA press release:

This year’s holiday campaign aims to promote the idea of being good without God. For example, on D.C. ads that appear on the interior of Metro cars and buses the slogan is accompanied by the explanation, “Be Good for Goodness’ Sake. Humanism is the idea that you can be good without a belief in God.”

“Humanists have always understood that striving to make the world a better place is one of humanity’s most important responsibilities,” said [Roy] Speckhardt, [executive director of the American Humanist Association]. “Religion does not have a monopoly on morality–millions of people are good without believing in God.”

Speckhardt pointed to the false assumption held by many that not believing in God indicates a lack of morality as the reason for needing such advertising campaigns. “We want to change the way people think and talk about non-theists, and to pave the way for acceptance of humanism as a valid and positive philosophy of life.”

I giggle here (with no disrespect intended, I assure you) because I marvel at how those from the secular side of the room, often deemed to be the deepest, most reasoned and rational thinkers among us – those who dismiss the impracticality of faith in an unseen God – always wind up sounding the most childlike, the most naïve, and just as reliant on the “irrational” as everyone else (Global Warming comes to mind).

Last year, Fred Edwords, spokesman for the AHA, said that while the group wasn’t trying to argue against God’s existence they were “trying to plant a seed of rational thought and critical thinking and questioning in people’s minds.” Humanism, as they define it, is “a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism, affirms our responsibility to lead ethical lives of value to self and humanity.”

God bless them. (No offense intended).

While I try to avoid arguing tenets of faith, (e.g., “If you don’t do so and so you’re not going to heaven, etc.,”) arguing for the existence of God (rather than proving Him to exist which is empirically undoable) is a different story altogether – and far more appealing. I have faith because God’s existence is, to me, most plausible. Indeed, I struggle with God – as the word “Israel” implies – but I am humble. I do question God, but do not deny Him. I sometimes question the Bible – far more than atheists question their own assertions – but believe that wisdom is born through the fear of God. The level of certitude that exists among many self-described atheists in God’s nonexistence is, ironically, often higher than those who believe.

For instance, I might ask a friend with an atheistic perspective – let’s call him Mr. Corn Flake – if he could admit that his certainty in this planet’s purely accidental existence is as equally reliant on faith as mine is in a Creator. In other words, speaking to him directly, “Can you, Mr. Corn Flake, acknowledge that your belief in an Earth of coincidence – and the life that exists on it – is just as irrational as me believing in a God making it all?”

If he says, “yes” then he is being intellectually honest.

If he says “no,” then he takes out ads on city buses asking Christmastime commuters why they believe in an invisible man who lives in the sky.

I would then ask to be shown the empirical data on the existence of hope and love.

To “not see” does not mean to “not be.”

Think of those global-warming enthusiasts who, despite a lack of corroborating data, are absolutely certain that the science is “settled.” These enviro-fascists are emotionally invested in getting the results they desire, as the recent leaked e-mails from University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit suggest, because they believe they are right. They have faith.

But science is not meant to be religion.

Science is amoral.

True science is emotion-neutral and goes where the data leads, not the heart.

(I digress)

More revealing to me, however, is the level at which atheists (and even agnostics) are convinced that a belief in God is somehow antithetical to being able to get pleasure from life. Last year, for instance, the British Humanist Association, launched their own “atheist bus campaign” in London with signs that read, “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”

(At least they said, “probably.”)

Despite a multitude of surveys that say people of faith are happier and more fulfilled than secularists (along with being more charitable), the very notion that having God in one’s life is an inhibitor to happiness is astounding – and utter nonsense.

For a moment ponder the outcry if New York City buses had signs on them that read, “There’s probably no Global Warming. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”

Katy, bar the door.

Last year, I was involved in a very spirited and interesting e-mail “conversation” with a blogger – a fellow conservative, as it were – who frequents the Free Republic site.

In one particularly poignant e-mail, he wrote:

Fortunately, (or unfortunately, depending on how you view it), God gave us freedom of choice… a “free will”.

If we were dealing with pygmies in New Gineau who had never been exposed to civilization and knew nothing about religion, there might be some assumed obligation to intervene. But these Americans we’re dealing with could not have made it to adulthood without being exposed to Religion in one form or another.

Having said that, if these people want to choose atheism, it’s their free will…let them have at it.

Every year about this time on Free Republic we start hearing about the stores that won’t say “Merry Christmas”…like they are single-handedly canceling Christmas or something. I say simply “don’t shop there” if that bugs you.

But the anti-Christmas attitude won’t keep me and my family from celebrating it, even reveling in it.

The Children of Liberalism do all this just to get publicity, and to try and “rub the adults” wrong. Let them play. Our job is to make sure we pass our beliefs on to our children…make THEM bullet-proof to all of the atheist car-cards riding around out there.

My response to him:

Indeed, when writing this, I did so with the foregone conclusion that people conduct their lives with the freedom of choice granted by God – free will. People can obviously live their lives as atheists if they choose.

What I will say is this … In the America I grew up in, the very idea that city buses would have advertising that promulgates such an anti-God point of view is indicative of the changing value system of the nation I love, as is the very idea that a department store would even consider eliminating “Merry Christmas” signs for fear of offending patrons.

I find this gradual – but very real – shift to a secular value set (and thus, one subject to the wills and whims of those in power) frightening.

The worry of offending people has become obsessive in so many areas of the American society.

I’m not saying the buses – taxpayer funded buses, by the way – shouldn’t be allowed to accept whatever advertising they want. That isn’t my point at all. I only lament what I perceive as deteriorating traditional values.

That’s all.

A million thanks to the great Weasel Zippers blog for bringing this story to my attention.

wordpress statistics

Advertisements

2 Responses to “THE REASON FOR THE SEASON?”

  1. I would then ask to be shown the empirical data on the existence of hope and love.

    Here. They are human concepts and as such show up readily in fMRI experiments.

    Think of those global-warming enthusiasts who, despite a lack of corroborating data, are absolutely certain that the science is “settled.” These enviro-fascists are emotionally invested in getting the results they desire, as the recent leaked e-mails from University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit suggest, because they believe they are right. They have faith.

    “Lack of corroborating data”? You have GOT to be kidding. Is the disappearance of glaciers and recession of the polar ice caps not evidence? Please! And this is much more evidence than what can be presented for the existence of deities (which is none).

    For a moment ponder the outcry if New York City buses had signs on them that read, “There’s probably no Global Warming. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”

    There is evidence for global warming (despite your denialist position). None for the existence of gods. And there has been a backlash against the “probably no god” ads, including defacing of the ads and death threats from good Christians.

    What I will say is this … In the America I grew up in, the very idea that city buses would have advertising that promulgates such an anti-God point of view is indicative of the changing value system of the nation I love, as is the very idea that a department store would even consider eliminating “Merry Christmas” signs for fear of offending patrons.

    I find this gradual – but very real – shift to a secular value set (and thus, one subject to the wills and whims of those in power) frightening.

    Umm… I’m not sure you know what ‘secular’ means. What you are describing is ‘political correctness’. These are not the same thing, and I agree- PC is largely silly. Secularism is governing institutions treating everyone equally regardless of sex, race or religious belief, which means government must be neutral with regards to them. It is CHRISTIANS (not all, but far too many) who are attempting to subvert what must remain secular institutions. Could you imagine an atheist such as myself entering a court house with a (completely irrelevant to western legal systems) monument to the ten commandments and thinking I would get a fair hearing? And your frightened???? Give me a break!

    Despite a multitude of surveys that say people of faith are happier and more fulfilled than secularists (along with being more charitable), the very notion that having God in one’s life is an inhibitor to happiness is astounding – and utter nonsense.

    And a god being necessary to happiness isn’t nonsense? Right.

    • Andrew Roman said

      I sincerely appreciate the time you’ve taken to reply to my post. Let me respond to each of your assertions.

      In asking for emperical evidence of such things as “hope” and “love”, you sent me a link to an article that, while quite interesting, proves nothing. There is no proof of the existence of love or of hope, other than what we say or feel. Despite the great detail your article goes into, such things as emotions are not empiraclly provable. You’ve done nothing to change that. That there are physiological reactions to those emotions is provable, but you’ve not proven that the specific emotion itself exists. You’ve simply afforded me a way to read physiological reactions that accompany emotional changes. You’ve given me the means, through science, to monitor the science of the emotion and how the body reacts. But the body can react in many ways to many situations. There is emperical evidence, for instance, that apples exist, or Democrats, or Swedish cars, but not love or hope or contentment or hate. We can observe that the body, indeed, reacts to given situations, but we cannot observe “love” or “hope.”

      As far as your attempt to offer corroborating data that the earth is in danger due to warming temperatures, again you’ve offered nothing other than the non-threatening actuality that temperatures fluctauate, and always have. You can quote the “recession” of the polar ice caps all you want, but you conveniently neglect the expanding ice sheets in other parts of the Arctic, which I’m quite sure you know all about, right? Or the thickening of the Antarctican ice, which has been happening for years now, right? Surely, these things have not escaped you. In fact, at one time, almost the entirety of North America was covered in ice. It was called the “Ice Age.” Somehow, all of that ice managed to melt without the benefit of CFCs and Hummers.

      Sure, ice melts. It’s the way it’s always been for all of history. Temperatures go up, temperatures go down. But there is just as much freezing going on in other parts of the world that the mainstream media conveniently “forgets” to report on. The problem is, as Dennis Prager readily points out, in order for any of this global warming hysteria to even make any sense, one would have to believe three premises. If even one of them is not so, the entire theory goes into the toilet. First, one has to believe the world is warming. Well, for a while, it was – just like it has many times before. But it hasn’t been warming for ten years. In fact, a cooling trend is in the works. Second, assuming the “warming” is actually taking place, which it isn’t anymore, one has to believe it is being caused by human activity. Since there is no emperical proof of that – only fractured theories about the corrolation between CO2 levels and temperature – it’s difficult to make that leap and call it “settled science.” Remember, that after the Soviet Union collapsed, many weather stations in the coldest regions of that country were taken offline. What do you suppose happens when you exclude cold temperature readings from the data sets used to compile the average? But assuming even all that is true (stretching it, but we can pretend), the third thing that would have to be so is that the world is facing its impending doom by these warming temperatures. The funny thing is, there is so much research – emperical research – that shows that warming periods have proven to be productive periods in human history. Warmer temperatures yield more food, for example. Growing seasons are longer. Productivity increases. Even if temperatures were rising, it’s hard to see a downside. They’ve risen before and humanity is somehow still here.

      I have never argued that God’s existence can be proven. But we all had to come from somewhere, and there is nothing in science that argues any better for the planet’s existence than a Creator. The notion of an accidental existence requires as much of a leap of faith as believing in God does. It is equally difficult to prove that the world is “warming” when it is not. If falling temperatures over the course of several years is not the best indicator that the world is not warming, what, pray tell, is? And just what should the correct temperature be right now?

      Government, incidentally, is quite “neutral” on matters of faith. That is very different from the Government acknowledging that the vast majority of Americans have faith. For instance, there is no official state religion. That’s precisely what the First Amendment is all about. It keeps Congress from establishing a “Church of the United States,” while protecting the right of all citizens to worship as they so please. The words “the free exercise thereof” have meaning, and the Framers were very clear in what they meant by it.

      And exactly what institutions are “Christians” trying to subvert? What on Earth are you talking about? Religious people believe in the Constitution. Religious people wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. There are no Christians anywhere who believe that America should be a theocratic state. Religious people understand that it is precisely because the United States has a secular government that religion has been able to flourish over the course of its two-hundred-plus years of existence. I’m not sure where you get your notions of a “fair hearing,” but your paranoia is showing. The courts of America don’t give a damn if you’re an athiest or not. There have have been millions of athiests who have had cases tried in this country that have come out in their favor, and many religious people who have been sent up the river. You’re smarter than that. Come on.

      I never said God was necessary to happiness. However, it is fact that people with faith generally claim to be happier people. Every survey that has been done on the subject corroborates this. You can call it nonsense if you like, if it helps, but that’s how it is.

      Thanks again for reply.

      Be well.

      Andrew Roman

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: