Answering Father Barron
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28-02-2017, 06:38 AM
RE: Answering Father Barron
(28-02-2017 05:11 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(28-02-2017 04:57 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  Yeah, WTF is "new atheism"?
...

[Image: old-atheists-vs-new-atheists-600x334.jpeg]

Wink

What are you, some kind of aggressive secularist?

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
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28-02-2017, 07:22 AM
RE: Answering Father Barron
(27-02-2017 06:11 PM)ProudCatholic Wrote:  You all might enjoy, or at least be intrigued by Bishop Barron

He is not a typical fire and brimstone kind of guy. He is a priest but I believe critiques atheism in a sincere and intellectual matter.

1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqwV9l-U8ds

2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xe5kVw9JsYI

Okay, I wasn't going to do this, but insomnia wins yet again.

First.... gregorian chant? wtf? Okay, kinda pretty, but still, skip.

Next, the video with substance to it... er... wait, that's not right. The video with prose in it. Not substance, but prose.

This guy is, indeed, not a nasty fire and brimstone kind of Christian. I could probably, barring some revelation that he was involved with the sex abuse scandal or is an active advocate for the persecution of LGBT+ people (beyond what we would expect of any Catholic in a frock) or so on, sit at a cafe and debate philosophy with him for a few hours. I might not respect his position, but I can at least respect his tone. That deserves something more than nasty and dismissive internet memes.

But there's nothing substantive to this video, and I think that reflects poorly on him.

This video isn't about presenting a fully coherent argument, so I won't hold it against him that he doesn't, but he does put together something similar to an argument and I'll dissect it. But first, we I should call out his mischaracterization of new atheism. He took a single element of new atheism -- a bus ad campaign (contemporary with this video from 8 years ago) with a message like "There's probably no God, so just relax" and represented it as indicative of modern atheism as a whole -- flip, popular, casual, and unintelligent. (And exactly how much intelligence should we expect from a bus ad, anyway?) He makes no mention of the Four Horsemen, who were at large and the foremost examples of new atheists at that time (I guess because he doesn't want people YouTubing them) and pretty much everything that follows hinges on this strawman. Pretty much everything he says from here on out is belied by anyone with a passing familiarity with the words of Harris and Dennet, and just imagining how Hitchens would take him apart brings a smile to my face. He seems to understand modern atheism no better than a few cursory newspaper articles. Not only does that show the sad state in his own intellectual rigor and honesty, it also makes dismantling what he says a breeze.

Beyond attacking his strawman of atheism, he makes an argument from desire his central thesis. In summary, we seek concepts of good, justice, meaning, purpose, etc... and that's God (zero support given for this)... and the fact that we desire it somehow makes it true. He wistfully references to the Existentialists as having at least realized that this was an element of who we are and contrasts them to the sorry state of new atheism bus ads. He then frames atheism as a drug by which our desire for God (meaning justice, meaning, etc) is masked. This is an eloquent shifting of... not exactly the burden of proof, but something akin to it. It's subtle and gregarious enough to kinda slide past you if you're not careful.

Beyond pointing out the straw man (and a tiny fraction of the fallacious consequences thereof), there are two weak points to his argument to be called out.

First, he makes zero case for the object of these desires to be any sort of god. In fact, if we are seeking goodness, or justice, or a sense of meaning and purpose, then the Christian God does not fit the bill at all. This is just breezily asserted, and I do get the sense that he believes it, but come on. We seek justice and goodness... and the justice and goodness we seek is one of the most brutal and bloodthirsty myths ever to be taken seriously, a genocidal maniac that can never be brought to justice, who will pardon the crimes of murderers and rapists if they only convert but who will subject to eternal torture for a finite crime anyone who doubts His undemonstrated existence? We seek meaning and purpose... in a being so arrogantly self-centered that his only purpose for us is that we should spend our lives and afterlives glorifying Him?

It should be noted that atheists who fight for justice in THIS world (and often against the Catholic Church, or Christianity in general, or religion in general) ARE finding meaning and purpose, and creating goodness and justice. But, of course, no mention of that.

But the more severe offense against logic and reason is the major premise of this argument, the idea that the fact we have a desire for something (supposedly God) means that it must exist. I have to wonder, what kind of charmed existence has let him get to this stage of life believing that wanting something to be true means that it's true? How does he not have a host of ready counterexamples from his own experience? His example of a desire for food meaning that food exists is a terrible analogy. We don't know that food exists because we are hungry. Rather, we know that food exists because we see it, touch it, taste it, and eat it.... nothing we can do with God. By this logic, we might as well assume that the Fountain of Youth exists, because without it we grow old and die, with the discomforts and pains of aging being analogous to hunger pangs. This is a blatant non-sequitur.

Hm, eating God. .... I'm kinda hungry for a God Sandwich right now, which I'm imagining as a sort of airy Sloppy Joe.

He reverses Marx's quote to describe atheism as a drug that's used to obscure the desire for God, but I think it's still more accurate applied to religion. Religion is used to mask, defuse, and deflect the desire for justice, and goodness, and meaning, and purpose. Want to elevate women to a position of equality and equal respect? Oh no you don't, God doesn't want that. Want to take reasonable steps to stop the spread of AIDS in Africa? Oh no you don't, God hates condoms. Want some meaning to your life other than singing the praises of an absent, deadbeat father figure/myth? Too bad, that's not God's purpose for you, and God's purpose for you is the only purpose that you are allowed to ever seek.

Like I said, I could have a discussion with the guy just based on his tone. This isn't your typical internet evangelist or Jesus-troll. That's something to be encouraged and cultivated, and provides a basis for an exchange of ideas that is sorely lacking from his less-civil brothers and sisters in Christ. But when we get past that and the congenial presentation to the underlying thoughts, it's just the same old vacuous nothing that we're used to.

I see the OP is spamming more videos of his. I'll get to them later.
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28-02-2017, 07:23 AM (This post was last modified: 28-02-2017 08:35 AM by adey67.)
RE: Answering Father Barron
Drive by theist, move along folks nothing to see here Drinking Beverage Popcorn
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28-02-2017, 08:46 AM (This post was last modified: 28-02-2017 08:49 AM by RocketSurgeon76.)
RE: Answering Father Barron
Another dishonest evangelist?!?

What.

A.

Shock.

Dodgy

Seriously... do Christians not get how bad this makes them look? Or is the program to evangelize so powerful that they just walk right up, ejaculate their memetic-virus-insertion program all over an intended audience, then stroll away convinced they scored points for Jesus... and they don't realize that they just convinced us that their entire cult is composed of bran-blown lunatics?

If I didn't know reasonable, thoughtful Christians in my life, and these assholes were my only exposure, I would be convinced that religion was 100% equivalent to a lobotomy.

Edit to Add: Maybe we should call them "Aggressive Theocrats"?

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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28-02-2017, 09:37 AM
RE: Answering Father Barron
(28-02-2017 08:46 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  bran-blown lunatics?

So much for my fad diet. Dodgy

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28-02-2017, 09:46 AM
RE: Answering Father Barron
(28-02-2017 09:37 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  
(28-02-2017 08:46 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  bran-blown lunatics?

So much for my fad diet. Dodgy

There is a positive to this thread, it brought you out of the woodwork <waves at gwynnie>
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28-02-2017, 09:50 AM
RE: Answering Father Barron
(28-02-2017 09:46 AM)skyking Wrote:  
(28-02-2017 09:37 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  So much for my fad diet. Dodgy

There is a positive to this thread, it brought you out of the woodwork <waves at gwynnie>

Are you flirting with mai girl!? Angry

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28-02-2017, 10:04 AM
RE: Answering Father Barron
(28-02-2017 09:37 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  
(28-02-2017 08:46 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  bran-blown lunatics?

So much for my fad diet. Dodgy

This may be my new favorite typo!

Reminds me of that old Phil Hartman SNL commercial:

[Image: f9027b3e7ac5e662756cb4f601d336f0.jpg]

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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28-02-2017, 10:18 AM
RE: Answering Father Barron
(28-02-2017 09:50 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  
(28-02-2017 09:46 AM)skyking Wrote:  There is a positive to this thread, it brought you out of the woodwork <waves at gwynnie>

Are you flirting with mai girl!? Angry

Can't be, Gwyneth is in my freezer I'm planning on serving her up with a plate of fava beans and a nice glass of ChiantiTongue
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28-02-2017, 10:21 AM
RE: Answering Father Barron
(28-02-2017 10:18 AM)adey67 Wrote:  
(28-02-2017 09:50 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  Are you flirting with mai girl!? Angry

Can't be, Gwyneth is in my freezer I'm planning on serving her up with a plate of fava beans and a nice glass of ChiantiTongue

Wow.

Somebody ordered mail-ordered psychopath, stat. Angry

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