The atheists’ world is so shabby and shallow
They don’t even know what they obviously lack!
Their view of religion is puerile and callow,
A strawman constructed so they could attack.
A world without magic, with nothing held hallow,
Where anything’s possible–nothing held back–
But sadly, the truth is, they’re sickly and sallow,
At least, in the view of the great Conrad Black.
Holy fuck, seriously? Yet another “atheists were so much better in olden days–these modern atheists are just so… ”
Having spent a very enjoyable two hours in conversation with Dr. John Lennox, professor of mathematics at Oxford University and one of the most rational and persuasive advocates of a Christian theistic view of the world, it has come back to me what a shabby level of mockery and sophistical evasion many of the militant atheists are reduced to, in comparison even with the famous skeptics of earlier times. People like Bernard Shaw, Bertrand Russell and Sigmund Freud, wrote and spoke well, and were more able than is rigorously admissible now to cloak themselves in the inexorable march of science and reason. Their witty if gratuitous disparagements of Christianity were much more effective than the coarse blunderbuss of my late quasi-friendly and frequent adversary, Christopher Hitchens.
I’ve read Shaw; I’ve read Russell; I’ve read Freud. I admire their writing–Freud won the Goethe prize for literature (importantly, not a prize for scientific achievement), and his writing is delightful, especially in the original German. But really, they are not any better or worse than modern atheist writings–they just had a different set of arguments to call bullshit. Modern apologetics has evolved, in part because of the earlier atheist writers, and has (as Black’s own writing illustrates) jettisoned more and more of the unsupportable shit that has tagged along under Christianity’s banner for centuries. Christians who don’t believe in evolution don’t count, according to Black (“all educated Christians, including Darwin, acknowledge evolution”), no matter what percentage that might be, or how influential. I don’t doubt that Black finds fewer True Christians than I do!
Black finds modern atheists lacking, but to do so, is forced to throw a great many modern Christians under the bus.
There is more I want to say, but the biggest thing, really, is that there is nothing new in his essay. Nothing. Read it–please!–Nothing. Every sentence has been addressed (and yes, the majority of them have been addressed here in verse!). Every one. Seriously, if there is anything you think has not been, bring it up in the comments. And as much as Black pretends that he is not proposing a “god of the gaps”, when it all boils down, that is exactly what he defends. And frankly, when the science that defines his gaps includes Freud, he has lost any claims to understanding the world as modern science does.