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Insane in the Membrane: How Atheism Engenders Insanity

By Luke Hamilton

May 10, 2013 at 10:25 am

“The man who cannot believe his senses, and the man who cannot believe anything else, are both insane, but their insanity is proved not by any error in their argument, but by the manifest mistake of their whole lives. They have both locked themselves up in two boxes, painted inside with the sun and the stars; they are both unable to get out, the one into the health and happiness of heaven, the other even into the health and happiness of the earth.” – G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

“The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.” – Richard Dawkins, River of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life

"You know what? I’ve come to realize I’m Jesus Christ and I can do anything I [expletive] want to and, watch this!” Jett McBride reportedly said last Friday, just moments before he drove into a Pacific Gas and Electric worker, pinning him to his truck.

Modern society is ever more fascinated with mental illness. Whether we’re learning about the latest faddish syndrome on Oprah (and then diagnosing our friends and neighbors) or excusing away the concept of sin via mental predisposition, we are acutely aware of our mental health, almost obsessively aware. We salivate over the conundrums created by Hollywood which glorify mental illness. Hannibal Lecter and Dexter are charming serial-killers and we’re encouraged to root for them as they transcend villain status to anti-hero. Millions watch as scores of tottering B-Listers are herded together into one psych ward so that audiences all across America can peer into the gilt-lined gutters of the rich and famous.

But what about the variety of mental illness from which Richard Dawkins suffers? You see, that is the flip-side of the coin which belongs to the man on the corner who believes he is Napoleon. Dawkins may not believe he is a conquering French general, but he believes something just as preposterous. He believes that he himself does not exist. As illogical as that sounds, this is the ground which atheism is forced to defend. The worldview which insists we cannot believe (or know) anything aside from our senses is just as mentally ill as the worldview which insists that we cannot believe our senses.

Think about how much we take for granted which exists “outside” our physical senses . . . like thought itself. Hope, love, friendship, honor, morality, and knowledge come to mind, as does the concept of self. If there is nothing but “pitiless indifference” then the individual known as Richard Dawkins does not exist. What we think of as Richard Dawkins is simply an amalgamation of physical processes and organs.

So when Richard signs the tawdry screeds he calls his books, he is demonstrating that he does not believe his own worldview. If he did, he would sign his books “The Meat-bag of Chemical Interactions Which Masquerade as an Individual Human Agent”. I think I would actually stand in line for a book with that signature.

This is the dirty secret of atheism which they do not want you to know, much less enforce while debating worldviews with them. But it is essential that we do just that. We have ceded far too much intellectual battleground which should never have been surrendered. Logical arguments must remain within the constraints of their own self-imposed boundaries. These nouveau Logical Positivists prefer to use their materialism as a club to silence anyone with supernatural beliefs, but they are required to play by the rules of materialism as a result.

I would love to see someone take a hard line with Dawkins. Each time he said something like “I think…” the response should be, “You do what? And who is you?” According to materialism, thoughts are not part of the physical world, nor are they observable with the 5 senses. Therefore, thought does not exist. What we refer to as “thoughts” are likely just by-products of an organic chemical reaction in our body. Much like Hume’s radical skepticism put an end to Western philosophy for nearly a generation (until it was widely dismissed as inoperably onerous), the materialism of modern atheism is a philosophical dead-end. The artists and philosophers who were intellectually honest enough to carry these beliefs to their logical ends usually ended up in their own version of Celebudolt Rehab in a padded cell, ala Nietzsche.

Thankfully for the atheists, along came postmodernism and its relativity and they were no longer subject to the laws of logic. They could (and do) synthesize two logically-divergent concepts and call it “truth”. Logic no longer sits atop the throne, ideology and emotionalism do. But that does not mean we cannot hold their metaphysical feet to the fire when they build their arguments on a foundation of soggy Jenga sticks. Force them to live and interact in adherence to their “beliefs” and we will see just how deep-seated those beliefs are. And best be prepared for them to ask the same of you.