“Christian Libertarian” Excerpt #5: What The “New Atheists” and Fundamentalist Have In Common   Leave a comment

Introduction

The following excerpt is from my Christian Libertarian Draft from earlier this year. In this section I discussed the reasons why I believe Christians [particularly of the Fundamentalist strand] ought to change their perspectives and interpretations of the tradition and the text they worship. In this particular subject I was concerned with addressing the behavioral similarities between Militant Atheism, the likes of which I associate Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens among others and their followers on one hand and Militant Theism [aka Fundamentalism] on the other hand, whether it is Islamic, like Osama Bin Laden; Christian, like the Westboro Baptist Church; or Jewish, like the Jewish Zionists. The concern is real and I will be expanding on a particular topic in the future regarding this issue! These behavioral similarities I have witnessed over the past 7 years through YouTube Videos [and following commentary] and Religious Debate Forums.

The Excerpts and Commentaries

“BOTH have built a ‘god.’ The Theist has done this via Sola Scriptura, in which as I said earlier, they can ‘rationalize, become Linear and Literal minded in relation to God and Spiritual Issues which cannot be grasped by a fallen Human Reasoning Mind.’ It is my contention that by Sola Scriptura, one can create one’s own theology and based on that one creates a community based around that theological understanding. However the danger I see in doing this is that it creates a ‘Tribal God’ (or Community God) rather than a One True Universal God, of course this is the conflict we see exhibited in religious disagreements today, we create an ‘-ism’ around a rationally apprehended theological understanding and then associate it with the One True Universal God. The Militant atheist on the other hand is much simpler, they just become very rigid and obsessive over the ‘-isms’ of empiricism, rationalism, and materialism and this becomes their Triune God. Unfortunately in my view, I see the actions of being rigid and obsessive over these ‘-isms’ as the result of making a broad over-generalization of the benefits of these created ideas, so much so that they begin to worship it. But what happens when people worship something together, or in our modern understanding of the word ‘worship’ which is giving your time, energy, and life to it? Well that leads me to the following observation.”

This is my first observation that I stated. At this point in time I am in more or less agreement with what is written above. Let me just say that the Atheist creates a new god, and this new over-reaching God is a violent and oppressive one, this god is called Scientism and it demands conformity to its viewpoint, which is based around the notions that ALL of Reality can be understood through empirical evidence that of our limited tools and perceptions. I have a video here once again from Father Barron which discusses the Tyranny of Scientism, which in the irony of it all I see as the “Fundamentalization” of Science:

How is this a “Fundamentalization” of Science? Quiet simply because, the same way a religious fundamentalist says ALL of Reality can be explained by said Sacred Text, the “scientism-ist” believes that ALL of Reality can be explained by Scientific Research. BOTH are claiming a Monopoly on Reality, it just so happens that more people are becoming “scientism-ists” largely because, the previous century or so has seen an explosion of scientific progress. So people think, “That if this progress made this life of ours possible then it must be true!” This leads to a wholesale abandonment of Religion, because a particular way of thinking [aka Fundamentalism] has lead nowhere. So there seems to be a spirit of pragmatism justifying this wholesale abandonment of Religion, rather than just a full abandonment of Fundamentalism.

“BOTH have to bring others to worship their Tribal God. The irony is the fact that the militant atheist and militant theist both act in the same manner. The features are similar: They both promise you a better life if you accept their ‘Tribal God’, They both promise you a worst life if you do not accept their ‘Tribal God’ and in not accepting their ‘Tribal God’ they act in a very condescending, insulting, irrational and damning manner. Of course, the fruit of this leads to a Spiritual War of the ‘-isms’ and this battle is only perceived to most of us as, “Their Tribal God-V-The One True God that I Worship” when in reality it should be said, ‘Their Tribal God-V-My Tribal God who I accidentally Universalized.’ There are in reality few people who actually perceive and understand what’s meant by, ‘the Spiritual War between All the created Tribal Gods against the uncreated, universal One True God.'”

For Reasons of space, I am not going to go into the theology of how Christianity is the expression of the Universal, One True God, because my entire blog is more or less meant for that purpose. However, if we were to grant that premise, let me explain further this “War of the -Ism’s” Humanity is capable of insight, creativity, and originality in formulating and expressing concepts, the notion that Humans can only know Reality based upon Correct Ideas and Concepts is called, Epistemological Idealism. Man can create ideas, these ideas become concepts and philosophies and theories. When we exchange a pure idea for a Watered-Down Idea however, I call that process “Fundamentalization,” it seems to me that this occurs because of an experience that gave a percieved tremendous credence or destruction to the Pure Idea, so we either try to remove all the parts that we think can make it credible once again or we add more to it in order to empower it even more. Either way the pure idea becomes imbalanced and the adherents in effect become overly-zealous [aka obsessive] of it. This zealotry leads to militancy and creates conflict, violent or not; visible or not. The problem is through the Zealotry and Conflict we feel compelled to Universalize our idea in the hopes of making it seem more powerful, in the hopes of making it capable of doing things it cannot or will not do. Again I have another video here from Fr. Robert Barron talking to Dr. Scott Hahn on the New Atheists, don’t worry it covers the Fundamentalist as well:

“So as we can see, it is Militancy that is a real problem that needs to change on all sides, because until we are willing to relinquish it we will always try so hard to get others to join us when they really do not want to. Now as an example of our flawed Christian Methodology that keeps us estranged to God and some of us so estranged that we are willing to believe in His ‘non-existence’ let us look at fear tactics as such an example, the observations that I have made for the most part with Christians who use fear tactics, is that they chase more people away than they want to bring in, now I understand that we are looking for a quality person, but we need to maximize how many people we can bring into the fold with one sitting. What inevitably shuts us off is the Judgmental God Image that most of us worship and wish to share with others; I have spoken in-depth on this issue.”

You can look elsewhere on this blog about my concerns with the Judgmental God-Image. The use of fear and terror, may have worked during a time when people were more illiterate and superstitious, but we have arrived to a point, since the time of Romanticism in the 19th Century and the literacy of the general populace since the 50s where people want the Spiritual, they long for the Spiritual and it is contradictory for us to use the Language of Fear on a people who want to actually hear the Language of Truth, Healing, and Love all of which are therapeutic to the root of ones being. Please note that I do not believe that the use of fear ought to be used save in dire circumstances: Consider a person who is close to a dangerous situation [e.g. a pit with sharp rocks at the bottom], they keep walking closer and closer to that situation, if you care enough to save them you must yell and warn them that if they get any closer they’ll die in order to save their life. As I concluded in the excerpt below,

“However, as we look at our culture and society it becomes increasingly apparent that in our day and age, the ‘God as Judge’ Image is losing power and rightfully so; it has been used as a means of fear and control. Our contemporary society is one that wishes to be liberated, to be healthy, and to achieve the heights of human potential. This is why I said that the, ‘God as Doctor’ Image is the Image of the future and we must speak and understand from that Image: We want to be liberated from the our psycho-spiritual illnesses, we want to be healed of our psycho-spiritual illnesses, and we want to achieve the heights of human psycho-spiritual potential just as equally as we want to achieve the heights of human body and societal potential. The time is now to change if we are to advance ourselves into the future, with God by Our side!”

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Posted October 16, 2011 by jimbo9889 in The Objectives

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