Alan Roebuck’s latest essay for View from the Right takes the form of an open letter to an atheistic think tank called the Center for Inquiry, proceeded by an introduction.
Introduction to the ideas in the letter
Liberalism must be opposed fundamentally, because if you accept, even tacitly, your opponent’s premises, you will eventually be forced to accept his conclusions. And the philosophical foundation of liberalism is atheism, because atheism makes man the supreme being, and means that there are no absolutes.
But nowadays, most apologists for atheism do not call themselves atheists. They say, “Atheism requires proving a universal negative, which is impossible. So I’m not an atheist. I just think there’s no reason to believe in a God, so I don’t. Call me a naturalist [or infidel, or freethinker, or agnostic.]” (But note that it is not impossible to prove a universal negative; mathematicians do it all the time.)
More importantly, the atheistic apologist says, “Since my position does not posit the existence of anything, it is the default position. The burden of proof falls on the theist to prove a God exists, and if the proof fails, I am justified in my unbelief.” The atheist then finds what he regards as flaws in each theistic proof, and believes his position is justified.
Dear Center for Inquiry:
I have read the statements of principle on your website, and there are some things I can agree with. Postmodern relativistic irrationalism needs to be strongly rebuked by being demonstrated to be false. Furthermore, you are right to decry the widespread ignorance of and even hostility to science.
But the statements on your website, and your basic position of naturalism (the doctrine that nothing exists but physical entities and their properties), make some fundamental intellectual errors. These errors doom your enterprise, and explain much of the public’s hostility to a scientific establishment that declares itself, erroneously, to be the acme of truth and clear thinking.
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