Wednesday, July 02, 2008
[Christopher Hitchens, atheist, alcoholic, former Marxist]
1 - The fossils prove that life in the distant past was much different than life today. [This is true.]
2 - Therefore Darwinian evolution is clearly true and Genesis is clearly false. [This is a fallacy, and falsifies the rest of the argument.]
3 - Therefore the "argument from precedent" is clearly true, meaning that scientists have consistently discovered natural causes underlying things once thought to be supernatural, such as the origin of species. The logical inference is that since past gaps in knowledge have been filled by naturalistic explanations, probably all remaining gaps in knowledge will be filled by them as well. Hence we should presume that any unexplained fact has a natural explanation.
4 - Therefore, since everything has a natural explanation, we may use the "argument from absence" to support atheism. If the supernatural exists (whether as gods, powers, or spirits), it is so silent and inert that its effects are almost never observed, and if they would be observed we would presume a natural explanation will be found based on the above "argument from precedent". Therefore there is no evidence of God and atheism is true.
Religion is not needed to be happy. A person can be perfectly happy by simply enjoying the world's physical pleasures to the greatest extent possible. Religion, on the contrary, distracts a person from life's pleasures and unnecessarily inhibits him from enjoying them.
Religion is not needed to be moral. A person can be perfectly moral by simply following his natural, inner conscience. Religion, on the other, encourages hatred of anyone different.
Therefore, an atheist will logically be the most moral and happy person. The low crime rate for atheists in English speaking countries and in Western Europe proves this. It is true that Communists killed millions, however they did that because of their belief in Communism, not their lack of belief in God.
[In fact, there is no question that Orthodox Jews are on the average nicer, happier and more sober than atheists.]
So the atheist skips merrily and illogically along, going from fossils to Darwinism to naturalism to atheism, hedonism and natural morality.
Posted by jewish philosopher at 9:20 AM