Moral Argument For God


This argument states that a higher entity must exist for the following reasons:

1. Morality exists; 2. God is a better explanation for morality than any alternative; 3. the existence of God is therefore more likely than the opposite.

Unfortunately for theists, scientifically speaking, the moral argument is completely and utterly invalid. First of all, the argument that morality flows from faith is easily countered. Organised religions – as a cultural phenomenon – are responsible for quite a lot of harm and terror in the world. For instance, the suicide-bombing community is entirely faith-based, the genital mutilation community is entirely faith-based, et cetera.

“Name me an ethical statement made or an action performed by a believer [theist, deist, etc.] that could not have been made or performed by a non-believer [atheist].” – Christopher Hitchens

Not only that, the moral argument is degrading to humanity and human decency. It suggests that we humans would only murder, rape and pillage if we did not believe in an omniscient being who watches our every move – Christopher Hitchens jokingly referred to this hypothetical situation as a celestial North Korea. (Interestingly, one might well argue that present-day North Korea is organized exactly like a faith based cult, centred on the worship of Kim Jong-il).

In short, the degrading and childish suggestion that morality can only exist when humans think they are being spied on is simply invalid. For whatever motive (a question which is still heavily debated), human beings are very much concerned with the well-being of other living things for a very simple reason:

“And if we are more concerned about our fellow primates than we are about insects, as indeed we are, it’s because we think they [like ourselves] are exposed to a greater range of potential happiness and suffering [as opposed to say, rocks].” – Sam Harris

Human beings feel a basic empathy. This behaviour is rooted in the consciousness of being. It is not a character flaw, but an evolutionary strength. The assumption that any theistic religion grants or improves morality in human beings is not rooted in reality:

“The safest, happiest, healthiest, most peaceful, most equal, most developed, most emancipated, most educated, most socially and economically prosperous countries in the world are secular sovereign nations.” – Willem Etsenmaker

See other: Arguments Concerning God

Crimes of Dogmatism


‘It is amazing how many people think that the crimes of Hitler and Pol Pot and Mao were the result of atheism. The truth is that this is a total misconstrual of what went on in those societies, and of the psychological and social forces that allow people to follow their dear leader over the brink.

The problem with Fascism and communism was not that they were too critical of religion. The problem is they’re too much like religions; these are utterly dogmatic systems of thought. I recently had a debate with Rick Warren in the pages of Newsweek, and he suggested that North Korea was a model atheist society and that any atheist with the courage of his convictions should want to move there.

The truth is North Korea is organized exactly like a faith based cult, centered on the worship of Kim Jong-il. The North Koreans apparently believe that the shipments of food aid that they receive from us, to keep them from starving to death, are actually devotional offerings to Kim Jong-il. Is too little faith really the problem with North Korea? Is too much skeptical inquiry, what is wrong here? Auschwitz, the Gulag, and the killing fields are not the product of atheism; they are the product of other dogmas run amok; nationalism, political dogma.

Hitler did not engineer a genocide in Europe because of atheism; in fact Hitler doesn’t even appear to have been an atheist, he regularly invoked Jesus in his speeches. But that’s beside the point, he did it on the basis of other beliefs, dogmas about Jews and the purity of German blood. The history of Muslim jihad however does have something to do with Islam. The atrocities of September 11th did have something to do with what 19 men believed about martyrdom and paradise.

The fact that we’re not funding stem cell research at the federal level does have something to do with what Christians believe about conception and the human soul. It is important to focus on the specific consequences of specific ideas. So I want to make it very clear that I am not holding religion responsible for every bad thing that a religious person has done in human history. To be balanced against all the bad things that atheists have done, I am only holding religion responsible for what people do, and will continue to do, explicitly for religious reasons. So I submit to you there really is no society in human history that has ever suffered because its population became too reasonable.’

– Harris, S. Believing the Unbelievable: The Clash of Faith and Reason in the Modern World.” Aspen Ideas Festival, the Aspen Institute, Aspen, CO, July 4th, 2007

Totalitarianism is Non-secular


Communism

‘Communist absolutists did not so much negate religion, in societies that they well understood were saturated with faith and superstition, as seek to replace it. The solemn elevation of infallible leaders who were a source of endless bounty and blessing; the permanent search for heretics and schismatics; the mummification of dead leaders as icons and relics; the lurid show trails that elicited incredible confessions by means of torture […]. […]

In a very few cases, such as Albania, Communism tried to extirpate religion completely and to proclaim an entirely atheist state. This only led to even more extreme cults of mediocre human beings, […]. […]

In the early months of this century, I made a visit to North Korea. Here, contained within a hermetic quadrilateral of territory enclosed either by sea or by near-impenetrable frontiers, is a land entirely given over to adulation. Every waking moment of the citizen – the subject – is consecrated to praise the Supreme Being and his Father. Every schoolroom resounds with it, every film and opera and play is devoted to it, every radio and television transmission is given up to it. So are all books and magazines and newspaper articles, all sporting events and workplaces. I used to wonder what it would be like to have to sing everlasting praises, and now I know.’

Hitchens. C. 2007. God Is Not Great London, Great Britain: Atlantic Books (2008) p. 246-248

‘The truth is North Korea is organized exactly like a faith based cult, centered on the worship of Kim Jong-il. The North Koreans apparently believe that the shipments of food aid that they receive from us, to keep them from starving to death, are actually devotional offerings to Kim Jong-il. Is too little faith really the problem with North Korea? Is too much skeptical inquiry, what is wrong here? Auschwitz, the gulag, and the killing fields are not the product of atheism; they are the product of other dogmas run amok; nationalism, political dogma.’

Harris, S. Believing the Unbelievable: The Clash of Faith and Reason in the Modern World.” Aspen Ideas Festival, the Aspen Institute, Aspen, CO, July 4th, 2007

Fascism

‘Today a new faith is awakening—the Myth of the blood; the belief that to defend the blood is also to defend the divine nature of man in general. It is a belief, effulgent with the brightest knowledge, that Nordic blood represents that Mysterium which has overcome and replaced the older sacraments.’

– Rosenberg. A. 1930. The Myth of the Twentieth Century (Source: Online Public Domain)

‘Bormann declared: ‘When our youth will no longer hear about Christendom, whose teachings are far inferior to ours, Christendom shall surely disappear.’

‘Bormann further states’, says the American substitute Robert G. Storey in Nuremberg, ‘the churches cannot be suppressed by means of a compromise but only by a new doctrine as formulated in the works of Rosenberg.’ Based on previously acquired documents Storey continues: ‘Bormann suggests writing a national socialist catechism to provide a moral basis to the teachings of national socialism; which would replace those of the Christian faith. Bormann suggests to fuse some of the Ten Commandments together with the national socialist catechism and add a few new ones, for example: “Thou shalt be brave!”, “Thou shalt keep thy blood pure!”, etcetera.’

– Heydecker. J.J., Leeb. J. 1959. Opmars Naar De Galg [March to the Gallows] Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Scheltema & Holkama (1961) p. 305

Totalitarianism is non-secular

‘The problem with Fascism and communism was not that they were too critical of religion. The problem is they’re too much like religions; these are utterly dogmatic systems of thought.’

Harris, S. Believing the Unbelievable: The Clash of Faith and Reason in the Modern World.” Aspen Ideas Festival, the Aspen Institute, Aspen, CO, July 4th, 2007

Autarky and Autarchy


When an economy is closed and does not permit economic transactions with the outside world, the country in question is in a state of autarky. In other words, autarky is the quality of being completely self-sufficient – North Korea is a good example of such a nation.

English: The Tower of Juche Idea was completed...

The Tower of Juche Idea was completed in 1982 to commemorate Kim Il Sung’s 70th birthday. The Juche Idea, the official state ideology, developed by Kim Il Sung, is a blend of Marxism-Leninism and Autarky.

The word autarky comes from the Greek; it means self-sufficiency. The term is sometimes confused with the term autocracy meaning government by single absolute ruler or autarchy. It is not the same as autarky.

Libertarian theorists have used the terms autarchy and autarchism in the sense of self-government to describe his own political philosophy and to distinguish it from anarchism.

Usually the term is applied to political states or their economic systems. Autarky exists (instead of autarchy) whenever an entity can survive or continue its activities without external assistance or international trade. Autarky is not necessarily an economic phenomenon.

For example, a military autarky would be a state that could defend itself without help from another country. Autarky can be said to be the policy of a state or other entity when it seeks to be self-sufficient as a whole.