Friday, January 4, 2008

Atheists and Ron Paul

Recently, some atheists have apparently completely lost it. Over here the atheist blogger calls Ron Paul a "moron." Why? Because he expressed a belief in God and has doubts about evolution. Maybe Paul is a Biblical Creationist and maybe he isn't, but it hardly matters. This thoughtful exponent of "rational thought" (words he has included in his blog's subheading) makes this moronic, irrational statement, quoting Ron Paul: he said "the creator that i know, Who created us and created the universe" - It's pretty much the definition of creationist.

Well, yes and no. If by "creationist" you mean someone who disbelieves in biological evolution as the explanation for the diversity of life, then believing in a creator doesn't necessarily lead to such a rejection of science. Our rational atheist writer, however, here fails to make the distinction. He say Paul believes in "The invisible sky daddy theory," but what has that got to do with Paul as potential President? Even if Ron Paul is a young earth creationist (and I don't know that he is), it has nothing to do with his ability to make decisions on public policy, especially not when his track record is so consistent and his reasoning so clearly visible over the years. So what motivates atheists like this? Another quote from our rational atheist might explain:

"But are Atheists right to abandon Ron Paul based solely on his views on evolution? Yes, They are. Simply because someone who claims to be a champion of reason, Evidence and rationality can't help but question the intelligence of someone who believes in biblical creation in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. It would be hypocritical to demand evidence and rationality from everybody except the leader of your country.The argument has been made by a few atheists that while his views are wacky, It won't effect the decisions he will make as president. While i partially agree, That is irrelevant. A belief in Santa, Elves or pixies wouldn't directly effect the decisions a leader makes either, But it would cast doubt over that individuals ability to think rationally.If you want to call your self an Atheist and a champion of reason, You can't continue to support Ron Paul. If you want a rational leader, You can't put a creationist in to office."

It is hard to know what is going on here with this individual's thinking. The Ron Paul statement that got this debate started was not from Ron Paul injecting creationism into the campaign in a plot to steal evangelical votes from Huckabee, but came about because someone asked him the question. Here is how Paul answered:

"Well, at first I thought it was a very inappropriate question, you know, for the presidency to be decided on a scientific matter, and I think it's a theory, a theory of evolution, and I don't accept it, you know, as a theory, but I think it probably doesn't bother me. It's not the most important issue for me to make the difference in my life to understand the exact origin. I think the creator that I know created us, everyone of us, and created the universe, and the precise time and manner, I just don't think we're at the point where anybody has absolute proof on either side. So I just don't . . . if that were the only issue, quite frankly, I would think it's an interesting discussion, I think it's a theological discussion, and I think it's fine, and we can have our . . . if that were the issue of the day, I wouldn't be running for public office."

There are some striking things about Paul's statement. He never says he believes in a literal reading of Genesis and that understanding the exact origin is not that important. While atheists may not agree with Paul's uncertainty, this hardly qualifies as a reason to reject him completely as a candidate. Nor does Paul here come across as a ranting fundamentalist loon. The strange thing is, the atheist here seems to simply not want to vote for someone who believes in something he finds irrational. But where will he ever find a candidate who is completely rational by this narrow definition? If 85% or more of Americans believe in God, the odds are any candidate is going to believe in something that atheists find "irrational." And what is rationality when it comes to public policy anyway? Was voting for the Iraq mess or the Patriot Act rational? Ron Paul opposed both. Has Congress or the White House ever been a bastion of sanity?

The sad thing is, this particular atheist (and others) once saw in Paul a candidate who represented real hope.

I used to have a lot of respect for Ron Paul, He seemed like the only presidential candidate able to drag America out of the global mess they have found themselves in.

Another atheist blogger says: Consider any praise or endorsement I made for Ron Paul in the past to be retracted. When you say something completely idiotic like he are guaranteed to lose my vote and that of anybody else with any scientific knowledge in their head. His post is titled "Ron Paul shows he's just as stupid as the next politician." Really now, as stupid as all those politicians who are so completely opposite to Ron Paul? The politicians who vote in mass for things that truly threaten, like the Patriot Act? Just recently the US House voted for the SAFE Act a clear threat to Internet freedom, and Paul was one of only two congressmen to vote against it (no Democrat did). But according to this atheist, Paul is no different from the rest of them. Yep, that's clear-headed, rational thinking if I ever saw it.

What atheists like this show is that they are as stupid as the next Christian bible thumper, the only difference being, the atheist should know better.

Being an atheist is no guarantee that someone has the ability or skills to think clearly and rationally, as Christopher Hitchens' warmongering support for the neocon's foreign policy and certain atheist's rejection of Ron Paul make so immanently clear.

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