Beyond the Revolution

The Five Good Reasons

Atheists have no god to worship.  This is by no means a tautology.  Belief in god is ingrained in our nature, and Anselm’s proof is the nearest thing to an effective rebuttal of atheism.  Put in simple terms, Anselm’s argument is that we know that god exists because we have the category god in our minds—that is, as we should now say, we are programmed to believe in a deity.  In a narrow sense, Anselm’s proof depends on our acceptance of the philosophical tradition of Plato and Aristotle, but it can also be persuasive, if not perfectly convincing, in other traditions: An unbelieving Darwinist (Edward O. Wilson) has pointed out that god obviously confers fitness on believing members of the human species; otherwise, religion would not be so universal.  This is especially clear today when traditional Christians are outbreeding liberals and atheists by a wide margin.

If we have no god or gods, much less God, where does that put us?  In one of several rather uncomfortable positions.  Some atheists, in rejecting the God of their Sunday Schools, quickly turn to other gods, like Science or Progress or Reason, in whose names they are free to experiment on the sick or oppress the weak.  Some of these gods are as evil as the demons created by H.P. Lovecraft: the gods of Race and Nation, Equality and Class Struggle, Freedom and Democracy, and, yes, Science and Progress have demanded the sacrifice of hundreds...

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