So VD, author of the “Irrational Atheist” has a post up called “Stupidity versus Psychopathy,” exploring some of the same issues I have been when it comes to reason, intelligence, and atheism, except more as a blind man in the dark who wouldn’t know the meaning of the word empathy if it whacked him upside the head.
Vox sums up the nature of his argument, “This is yet another piece of scientific evidence in support of my hypothesis that atheism is nothing more than the predictable consequence of being neurologically atypical; that atheism is what might as reasonably be described as social autism.”
Let me tell you right now if Vox and his buddies are an example of empathy, Christian values, and high social functioning, then may the good Lord bless me with a hearty dose of social autism and make me a complete outcast.
As I’ve written before, atheists are quite reason based, highly intelligent, and actually have a huge capacity for empathy. They generally have a high social and moral conscience, one often rooted in trauma and full of biases, but there just the same. I don’t mean to invade anyone’s privacy here, but I recognize the symptoms of wounding. I’ve also lost count of all the atheists who have presented me horror stories of abuse at the hands of Christians, as if to say, see, this is why I’m not a Christian.
We are all victims of trauma on this planet and if we would show one another a bit more compassion that would be lovely.
It can get a bit offensive forever being accused of abusing kids, of indoctrinating and brainwashing the vulnerable, of being delusional and stupid, but when I pull back from that personal offense I can see the pain lurking behind it. Let me tell you, no moral and ethical person would ever condone abuse, and if that is what your faith was built on, you are right to reject it. In fact, it is God Himself that put that very knowledge of right and wrong in people. You will reject salvation and faith itself before you will condone evil in His name. I know, I’ve been there, but in a secular context.
Vox continues by saying, “The next time an atheist tells you that you are less intelligent because you believe in God, the obvious response is that you are also, unlike the atheist, not a psychopath.”
Let me interrupt my own self here and interject something. Vox Day once gave a description of God and to my horror I realized that wasn’t God at all, that was actually the god of this world he was describing and it scared the heck out of me. You want to talk about psychopaths, that was one cold, cruel, reason based description of God, just one so devoid of mercy, grace, and love, all the beautiful and irrational things that make God who He is, it chilled me to the bone. I don’t scare easily, but that disturbed me.
It also reminded me that psychopaths are intelligent, reason based, and quite empathetic. They just happen to use their empathy to prey on others. It is not reason, intelligence, or empathy that creates believers, it is Christ’s mercy. We are not saved because we are so smart, so moral, we are saved because of Christ’s love and sacrifice on the cross.
So Vox basically says, “the next time an atheist tells you…call him a psychopath.” Baloney! The Christian response is actually to love them, to perceive them as people having worth and value in the world, as people God loves dearly, and to remember that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Us! Our own selves. He didn’t chose us because we’re awesome special snowflakes, with a keen understanding of the world. He came for the sinners.
True, in the course of internet discussions, you must toss a few people in spam, or click them away, or lose your patience and snap at them, but even than you love them. That is the root of everything Christians do, even as Christ Himself is the root.
You love them, love being that “stupid,” non rational, sacrificial thing that is the very essence of God Himself, the fragrance He taught us, the one thing we all understand as people. Love irrational but real, the substance and evidence of our faith.
So you forgive the offense as Christ has forgiven you and you try to empathize, to listen to what they are saying, and you tell them about the God you know, the God of grace and mercy, the God of justice who also tells us “But who so shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.“
“…atheism is nothing more than the predictable consequence of being neurologically atypical.” No. Atheism is the predictable consequence of a healthy brain responding to having had psychopaths pervert the Good News. I don’t know how God handles that but I suspect Matthew 18:6 may speak to His feelings on the matter.