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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Looking at worldview, from the top

Professor Brooks of Syracuse University conducted a poll for his book, Who Really Cares? that found that “conservative households donate, on average, 30% more money to charities than do liberals (even though liberal households, on average, are wealthier than conservative households). Conservative families are more generous volunteering their time, and they are more likely to donate blood.“religious conservatives are 28 percentage points more likely to give than secular conservatives, give nearly four times more dollars per year, and volunteer more than twice as frequently.”

To translate: what you believe matters. Not just from a future standpoint (it matters where you will spend eternity), but also in the here and now. Ideas have consequences! And those people with a worldview that exalts humility and charity are more likely to demonstrate those qualities today.

"A worldview is a set of presuppositions (or assumptions) which we hold (consciously or subconsciously) about the basic makeup of our world.” James Sire

I wanted to explore the worldview of atheistic evolutionists and so I did a little research, beginning with one of the most famous, Charles Darwin:

(Two) militant atheists visited Darwin in 1881, one year before his death. Darwin at one point asked his guests, “Why do you call yourselves atheists, and say there is no God?” (One of them) explained that they did not say there was no God; rather, that because there was no evidence of deity, they were unable to believe in the idea of God and were therefore without God. Darwin agreed fully with their position, but chose a different word for it: “I am with you in thought, but I should prefer the word Agnostic to the word Atheist.” (From American Vision)

Darwin was certainly either an agnostic or an atheist. I will call upon the American Heritage Dictionary to define a few terms for us:

Atheist - One who disbelieves or denies the existence of God or gods. (Gr. Atheos - without God)

Agnostic - One who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God. One who is skeptical about the existence of God but does not profess true atheism. (Gr. Agnotos - without knowledge)

Naturalism is any of several philosophical stances, typically those descended from materialism and pragmatism, that do not distinguish the supernatural (including strange entities like non-natural values, and universals as they are commonly conceived) from nature. Naturalism does not necessarily claim that phenomena or hypotheses commonly labeled as supernatural do not exist or are wrong, but insists that all phenomena and hypotheses can be studied by the same methods and therefore anything considered supernatural is either nonexistent, unknowable, or not inherently different from natural phenomena or hypotheses.

Naturalist - One who believes in and follows the tenets of naturalism.

Plus - Materialism - Philosophy - The theory that physical matter is the only reality and that everything, including thought, feeling, mind, and will, can be explained in terms of matter and physical phenomena.

1. The theory or attitude that physical well-being and worldly possessions constitute the greatest good and highest value in life.
2. A great or excessive regard for worldly concerns.

Naturalistic Materialism - Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach said, “God is merely the outward projection of mankind's inward nature.” (1841 Essence of Christianity). Hegel/Marx/Engels/Kant and others took his thoughts and ran with them, pushing God out of the philosophical picture and bringing in man to take his place.

God disagrees

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

According to the naturalistic materialists, man is either basically good or basically a blank slate upon which good needs to be written. But God says that we are naturally sinners at heart and need the guidance of God and the standard of His Word to live a good and worthwhile life. Herein lies a fundamental difference between Christianity and Humanism.

Humanism: A system of thought that rejects religious beliefs and centers on humans and their values, capacities, and worth. We'll see this term again in subsequent posts.

"Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually- fulfilled atheist." - Richard Dawkins, Darwinian apologist.

Yes, atheism needed evolutionary teaching to truly flourish. I would suggest that many atheists and agnostics believe that way because it serves to allow them to be immoral and many scientists who are evolutionists knowingly skew the data they find in their fields of endeavor to support evolution rather than creation or ID. Let them support my statement with their own words:

"I had motives for not wanting the world to have meaning; consequently assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption ... For myself, as no doubt, for most of my contemporaries, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation. The liberation we desired was simultaneous liberation from a certain political and economic system, and liberation from a certain system of morality. We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom." - Aldous Huxley, philosopher, author, lecturer -(REPORT, June 1966. "Confession of Professed Atheist."}

"We [scientists] have … a prior commitment to materialism [and] we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations… Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.” -Richard Lewontin, “Billions and Billions of Demons,” The New York Review, January 9, 1997, p. 31.

“[I suppose the reason] we all jumped at the Origin [of Species] was because the idea of God interfered with our sexual mores.” - Julian Huxley, British biologist.

Some scientists have come to believe in the existence of God because of their studies

Two years ago Anthony Flew, a noted anti-creationist, atheistic philosopher who had lectured and debated on the side of Darwinism for decades, made a stir in the scientific community with this statement: "It is, for example, impossible for evolution to account for the fact than one single cell can carry more data than all the volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica put together...It now seems to me that the findings of more than fifty years of DNA research have provided materials for a new and enormously powerful argument to design."

"When I began my career as a cosmologist some twenty years ago, I was a convinced atheist. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that one day I would be writing a book purporting to show that the central claims of Judeo-Christian theology are in fact true, that these claims are straightforward deductions of the laws of physics as we now understand them. I have been forced into these conclusions by the inexorable logic of my own special branch of physics." - Frank Tipler (Professor of Mathematical Physics) Tipler, F.J. 1994. The Physics Of Immortality. New York, Doubleday, Preface.

I have, in fact, mentioned numbers of scientists who have said similar things. So why, then, does the scientific community seem to be dominated by naturalist materialists who believe in evolution and scoff at the notion of God? That is tomorrow's task...


lava said...

Was there a main point to this post?

IAMB said...

I would suggest that many atheists and agnostics believe that way because it serves to allow them to be immoral and many scientists who are evolutionists knowingly skew the data they find in their fields of endeavor to support evolution rather than creation or ID. Let them support my statement with their own words:

The most you can suggest is "some" atheists... not many. As for your charge of knowingly skewing data, the quotes don't even remotely support that, so I hope you have something more. That's an extraordinarily serious charge to bring to the table, and I think a retraction is in order.

Oh, and ditch the Lewontin quote. It's mined in a bad way. I should know...

radar said...

iamb saw the point...and since I've seen this quote all over the place and read Lewontin discussing his book in the NYT discussion thread, I'll need some kind of proof to believe that the quote is incorrect, thank you!

IAMB said...

Not incorrect, per se, but the typically quoted part that's all over the creationism sites is only about half of the quote. As a contributor to the quotemine project, I look at pretty much every quote I run across. The whole thing can be found here.

To your credit, the Aldus Huxley one is accurate, though I will say that he's not representative of most evolutionists or atheists in my experience.

No further argument will you hear from me at the moment. I just thought I'd give you a heads-up on the quote. I would suggest that you check the TalkOrigins quotemine project before posting quotes from scientists in the future. We contributors bust our nuts to find original source material on a regular basis and to make sure it's accurate. Besides, as a guy I happen to like and respect I would hope you'd be averse to simply regurgitating inaccurate quotes if you knew they weren't the whole story.