Sample clip of my debate with an
atheist on the issue of morality.
Find the whole debate at this link
The BOBA Digest, Part 2: Daniel Dennett's Desperation
I perceive that Professor of Philosophy Daniel Dennett is a pretty bright personage (pun intended). Unfortunately, when he gets into the neo-atheist mindset he appears to lose his wits, his cool and his erudition as a professor of philosophy.
With regards to accountability, or responsibility, Daniel Dennett wrote:
"Those who maintain religions, and take steps to make them more attractive, must be held similarly responsible for the harms produced by some of those whom they attract and provide with a cloak of respectability. Defenders of religion are quick to point out that terrorists typically have political, not religious agendas, which may well be true in many or most cases, or even in all cases but that is not the end of it. The political agendas of violent fanatics often lead them to adopt a religious guise, and to exploit the organizational infrastructure and tradition of unquestioning loyalty of whichever religion is handy. And it is true these fanatics are rarely if ever inspired by, or guided by, the deepest and best tenets in those religious traditions. So what? Al Queda and Hamas terrorism is still Islam's responsibility, and the abortion-clinic bombing is still Christianity's responsibility and the murderous activities of Hindu extremists are still Hinduism's responsibility."1
I must first point out that just as Prof. Richard Dawkins did, Daniel Dennett uncritically and without providing statistics, correlates Islamic terrorism with "Christian" abortion-clinic bombings. I will not give it away here for the sake of suspense but if you are interested in facts take a moment to consider the statistical relation between the two and then see my essay The Dawkins Correlation.
Note Daniel Dennett's insistence that any and all Islamic terrorism is Islam's responsibility, that any and all "Christian" abortion-clinic bombings are Christianity's responsibility and that any and all Hindu extremist acts are Hinduism's responsibility. Let us grant this for a moment and ask the logical question, "Is this only so regarding religions and their extremists who often are violating the very tenets which they claim to be upholding?" Now more directly, let us ask, "What about atheism? Does atheism somehow and for some unstated reason get a pass? Is atheism not responsible for the greatest body count that the world has ever known?" At least according to Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Prof. Dawkins and Daniel Dennett, Austin Cline, Dan Barker, et al, the answer is clearly that atheism gets a pass and is not responsible.
But why do they get a pass and sidestep responsibility? Well, one answer provided by Daniel Dennett is quite intriguing. During his debate with Dinesh D'Souza entitled "Is God (and Religion) a man-made invention?" Daniel Dennett stated:
"_it occurred to me - let's think about Stalin for a moment. Was he an atheist? You might say well of course he was an atheist. No, on the contrary. In a certain sense, he wasn't an atheist at all. He believed in god. Not only that, he believe in a god whose will determined what right and wrong was. And he was sure of the existence of this god, and the god's name was Stalin."
So, now theism is not only responsible for everything and anything done in its name but theism is also responsible for everything and anything done in the name of atheism including the actions of those atheists who suppressed and oppressed theism. This is merely a hyper-convenient argument. Perhaps Daniel Dennett ought to curve his zealousness for his worldview and return to the realm of philosophy. However, granting his statement, if this is true of Stalin it is likewise true of all atheists. Thus, atheism is self-refuting circular logic since all atheists are theists.
Discarding supernatural god(s) atheists encounter the highest being in the universe, a materialistic god, in their mirrors. And claiming that atheists are not responsible for the atrocities committed in its premise because atheists are theists (nature-theists perhaps) is no way for anyone to argue much less a professor of philosophy.
1. Dennett Daniel, Breaking the Spell - Religion as a Natural Phenomenon (New York: Penguin Group, 2006), p. 299
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