Saturday, October 11, 2014

ISIS and atheism

Here's something ISIS and atheism have in common. Let's begin with the story. You have two addlebrained teenage girls who run off to ISIS. Once in their clutches, they discover that the harsh reality doesn't match their glamorized image:
Now, we could make allowance for the fact that they are young and dumb, although most teenagers never do anything that stupid. Indeed, some teenagers are very sensible.
But it isn't just schoolgirls. You have ditzy grown women who make the same mistake. Western women who marry Muslims. They discount the warnings, then find out the hard way that they made a terrible mistake. Only by then it's too late. 
Of course, you also have young Western men who run off to ISIS or the Taliban as well. But their situation is a bit different. Unfortunately, they take to it only too readily.
Why do some women make such an obvious mistake? Because they fall in love with an idea
And that's what they share in common with atheists. Atheism is a horrendously nihilistic worldview. Moral nihilism. Existential nihilism. Eliminative materialism. 
Yet most atheists simply deny the logical consequences of atheism. And the few who are more candid wear that as a badge of honor. That shows how tough-minded they are. 
Now, many atheists can get away with this in large part because, for them, atheism is just an idea. The dire consequences of atheism are just an intellectual abstraction. They don't feel the consequences. They don't experience the consequences. As long as it remains a safe abstraction, it doesn't bite into them. 
Of course, there are millions of people who've suffered under atheist regimes. Stalinism. The Khmer Rouge. North Korea. Likewise, as euthanasia takes hold, some of the logical consequences are becoming more tangible. 
In addition, there's a sense in which the logical consequences of atheism are unreal. Because atheism is so unnatural and counterintuitive, it takes tremendous effort to suppress what you instinctively take for granted. It's very hard to be a consistent atheist. Very hard to imagine all the things that must now be false if atheism is true. That's why atheists constantly revert to reactions that make no sense given atheism. 

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