"atheistic democracy"

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Mary Grabar's piece at TownHall on the supposed oxymoronic nature of "atheistic democracy" contains a typically inane claim that we atheists are "intent on...exclud[ing] all other, theistic, views" and "eliminat[ing] democracy," alongside her conflation of "the atheistic, secular view" with moral relativism, racism, and murder.

When she states that "The very notion of democracy is based on Christian principles," however, I have to ask: Where? Can she locate the concept of constitutional government in her bible? Are natural rights mentioned? How about freedom of speech? Prohibitions against slavery and torture? Protection of habeas corpus? Support for any type of government other than monarchy?

I thought not.

She then goes off the rails by opining that "The atheist, nonetheless, against all evidence, believes in the 'progress' of science." From (biblical) geocentrism to Copernicus to Galileo, from aether to Einstein to Hawking, the progress (without scare quotes) of science is obvious to all but the most blindly faithful. It appears that Grabar is in that camp.

She even claims that atheists "cannot do philosophy." Diagoras, Epicurus, and Lucretius prove the falsity of her statement, and that's only in antiquity. The Enlightenment produced many notables, including Meslier, de la Mettrie, Diderot, Helvetius, and d'Holbach. The nineteenth century provided the atheist philosophers Feuerbach, Bakunin, Marx, Engels, and Nietzsche; add to these Ayn Rand, Sartre, Camus, and Bertrand Russell from the twentieth. Currently, Grabar needs to contend with the examples of Michael Martin, Peter Singer, and Daniel Dennett.

Perhaps, given her tendency to ignore contrary evidence, Grabar will claim that none of them "did" philosophy.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on March 5, 2007 4:12 PM.

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