Saturday, December 8, 2007

NYT heart Atheists

Apparently Romney's speech annoyed the New York Times . I hope NYT's general readership will try to prevent the evangelicals from gaining too much power.

Ah, and it seems like the NYT is starting to embrace straight talk about Islam as well as race .

Good times for journalism.

Man it also pissed my off when he mentioned the Protestant faiths, Judaism, Catholicism, and Islam, but neglected Hinduism or Buddhism.

WHAT? You include the religion of honor killings, beheading, and jihad as admirable but not peaceful Hinduism or Buddhism? I hope this guy goes down in flames. It's upsetting and insulting. I hope on the next youtube debate or whatever he gets a question from an atheist. Shame on you, evangelicals. The founders would be sick.

BUT two fascinating and disturbing comments on half sigma blog.

If there is no God then there is no basis for individual liberty. The only law, if there is no God, is survival of the fittest. If the most fit can enslave the rest and thereby improve their own survival, so be it. There would be no basis for arguing otherwise.

The logical foundation of the U.S. Declaration of Independence is this opening line: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Remove that from the document and the rest of the argument falls apart. This was not an accident or just the opening sentence demanded by some religious zealots. The shift in political philosophy which ultimately resulted in the west embracing freedom, and our own revolution, was driven by and based upon Judeo-Christian thought. You cannot study the political philosophy of the period and come to any other conclusion. The arguments for individual dignity and liberty were all based on the idea that there is a God, and he loves each and every person. Your rights exist and are "rights", not privileges, because someone higher than any man, any ruler or king, gave them to you.

Our ideas of freedom and individual liberty are silly notions if there is no God. And there's no basis for judging any other system as wrong, bad, or worse if that's the case. The regime of North Korea is just as valid as our form of government so long as the most fit in their society survive. If there is no God, that is."

Unfortunately, I think this comment speaks alot of truth. While religion has been used to justify oppression and slavery, it is really the only think that's been used to justify the unique value of every individual human being.

And the counter:

"If you believe that without the existence of God the constitutional rights have no basis, that's your own personal conclusion. But that still doesn't prove the existence of God. This sounds like an extortion to me: believe in God or else our society is doomed. But you are not proving anything."

Again, trying not to dwell on it too much, but speeches like this always bring up the hand wringing issues of those who believe in race differences in intelligence , as well as no God . There is no higher authority to say that intelligent and stupid people are equal. Just our shared values.

Doesn't seem too strong of a leg to stand on.

No comments: