Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Irrational rationalism

This frightful dogma, this infinite lie, made me the implacable enemy of Christianity. The truth is that this belief in eternal pain has been the real persecutor. It founded the Inquisition, forged the chains, and furnished the fagots. It has darkened the lives of many millions. It made the cradle as terrible as the coffin. It enslaved nations and shed the blood of countless thousands. It sacrificed the wisest, the bravest and the best. It subverted the idea of justice, drove mercy from the heart, changed men to fiends and banished reason from the brain.

Like a venomous serpent it crawls and coils and hisses in every orthodox creed.

It makes man an eternal victim and God an eternal fiend. It is the one infinite horror. Every church in which it is taught is a public curse. Every preacher who teaches it is an enemy of mankind. Below this Christian dogma, savagery cannot go. It is the infinite of malice, hatred, and revenge.

Nothing could add to the horror of hell, except the presence of its creator, God.

While I have life, as long as I draw breath, I shall deny with all my strength, and hate with every drop of my blood, this infinite lie.


For the first half of geological time our ancestors were bacteria. Most creatures still are bacteria, and each one of our trillions of cells is a colony of bacteria.

What are all of us but self-reproducing robots? We have been put together by our genes and what we do is roam the world looking for a way to sustain ourselves and ultimately produce another robot—a child.

The argument of this book is that we, and all other animals, are machines created by our genes.

We are survival machines--robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes.

There is no spirit-driven life force, no throbbing, heaving, pullulating, protoplasmic, mystic jelly. Life is just bytes and bytes and bytes or digital information.

The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference.


If Ingersoll was the best-known atheist of the 19C, then Dawkins has inherited the mantle of Bertrand Russell as the best-known atheist of our own century.

Now, I juxtapose these two infidels to pose just one little question:

If Dawkins’ view of human nature is representative of contemporary secularism, then what, exactly, would be wrong with burning automata at the stake or consigning bacterial colonies to the everlasting bonfire?

Can you torture a computer? Can you abuse a bacterium?

Before an unbeliever launches into his latest tirade against whatever offends his delicately-calibrated, politically correct sensibilities in Scripture (e.g. hell, patriarchy, heterosexism), I’d like him to define what a human being is, according to the unsentimental definition of secular science (e.g. bacterial colony, blindly-programmed survival machine), and then explain to me how it's even possible to wrong a human being under that unforgiving definition.

1 comment:

  1. Steve, you (like St Paul: "Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch") need to adopt ye Romish custom of putting quotations (that you don't necessarily agree with) inside inverted commas...