Saturday, 12 May 2012
“The Godless Delusion”
Gustave Doré (1832–1883): Creation of Light. Image courtesy of Wikipedia. An atheist writer says some militant atheists are ignoring the good fruits of Christian thinking.
Some time ago, there was an interesting opinion piece in National Times, an Australian paper, on militant atheism by a writer who says he does not believe in God.
Chris Berg’s article is entitled The Godless Delusion. “Western civilisation owes a massive debt to religion and religious thinkers,” he begins. And as he sees it, this debt is a very positive thing.
Berg feels that the New Atheist movement is using a “scorched earth strategy…[that] is entirely counterproductive.”
“Virtually all the secular ideas that non-believers value have Christian origins,” he writes. “To pretend otherwise is to toss the substance of those ideas away.”
He mentions “the concepts of individual and human rights [as well as] progress, reason and equality before the law: it is fantasy to suggest these values emerged out of thin air once people started questioning God.”
The article is an honest evaluation of the causes of the rights and freedoms that we now are privileged to enjoy:
“The idea of human rights was founded centuries ago on Christian assumptions, advanced by biblical argument, and advocated by theologians. Modern supporters of human rights have merely picked up a set of well-refined ethical and moral arguments.”
Berg says, for instance, that contrary to what Richard Dawkins claims, Christians did fight against slavery. The efforts of William Wilberforce, a Bible-believing politician, brought an end to the slave trade in the British Empire in 1833.
The delusion is not what Dawkins believes it is, but it has to do with the godless themselves.
Berg, Chris. 2012. The godless delusion. National Times. (April 15.)